With Raheem Sterling proving to be the matchwinner again for England, Gareth Southgate has confessed that the Manchester City forward has transformed himself in every possible aspect. The 24-year-old earned his 57th cap for the Three Lions and capped it with the winner against Iceland.
Despite an overly congested season, few players have been as consistent as Raheem Sterling has over the last few years. The English international has averaged 15 goals in the Premier League alone and not even the stoppages in the 2019/20 season could stop him from scoring a career-best 20 goals in the English top tier. But the fact that Sterling has done it for Manchester City has tampered with his record although that changes when it comes to his performances for England.
The 25-year-old has slowly and yet steadily become one of the Three Lions’ superstars alongside Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Jadon Sancho among others. It has seen Gareth Southgate praise the Manchester City forward, after he netted his 11th goal in 12 games for England, and admit that he is among England’s best. Southgate also added that Sterling’s attitude has inspired and impacted the rest of the team with them all following his footsteps.
"His hunger to score, his hunger to win things, his hunger to drive himself, you really can't underestimate it. It has a massive impact on everybody around him and really has taken his game to another level. I can't speak highly enough of him really, it would have been very easy to have another few days on the beach, not report in, get himself right for his club at the beginning of the season,” Southgate told reporters in his post-match interview.
"His mentality the whole week has been exceptional. Desperate to be here, desperate to play, desperate to stay on, I thought he carried the fight when we went down to 10 men. He took the responsibility of the penalty, and I thought it was outstanding character throughout - his desire to win and succeed is exceptional."