Raheem Sterling Repaying Pep Guardiola and Manchester City’s Faith

Raheem Sterling of England reacts during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F qualifying match between Slovakia and England at City Arena on September 4, 2016 in Trnava, Slovakia.

Raheem Sterling has restarted life in Manchester with some stunning performances this season. Can he make his way into your fantasy line-up.

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Fantasy Price: £10.7m (PlayON), £8.2m (FPL)
  • Starts: 2
  • Goals: 3
  • Assists: 1

Following England’s shambolic Euro 2016 exit at the hands of the tournament underdogs, Iceland, public opinion shifted into overdrive. Fans and media combined in their quest to single out some sacrificial lambs. Perhaps more than any other, Raheem Sterling was held up as a shining beacon of all that was wrong with the England national team and the modern game in general.

Overpaid, overhyped and unworthy.

Like a Ferrari without wheels, flash, but ultimately useless.

It’s remarkable now to see what a turnaround the player has experienced just three Premier League games later. Given up on just a couple of weeks ago, Sterling is now delivering his finest performances in some two years and with every passing game you see the influence and structure imposed by Pep Guardiola.

Much like the early days under Brendan Rodgers, Sterling is again playing under the guidance of a man who is equal parts coach and man-manager. A manager with a track record of improving his players both tactically and in terms of mentality.

Raz now feels the love – and believe me, that is the difference. I mean, do you think that I can improve his skill in just one-and-a-half months? – Pep Guardiola  (Goal.com)

The 21 year old – yes he’s still just 21 – has begun the season in superlative form across City’s first three games with two goals and assist. In terms of goal contribution, Sterling rivals the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero as the early season’s outstanding performers. His popularity among fantasy managers is steadily increasing as he casts more heralded teammates David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne into his shadow.

Only eight players have had more successful dribbles (3.3 per game) then Sterling this season and you feel that his pace and his predilection to take on his man could spell havoc for someone like Daley Blind in Gameweek 4 – a player not known to be the quickest of the mark.

With Aguero suspended for the Manchester derby , Guardiola is presented with the conundrum of filling a void at the tip of the Manchester City attack. The former Barca manager may choose to deploy Sterling in place of the Argentinian, putting him in position to score even more goals.

Sterling could have the perfect opportunity to deliver on his long held potential this season and under the measured guidance of Pep Guardiola, he’s already making headway on that promise.

 

To put Raheem Sterling in your fantasy XI ahead of Gameweek 4, get to PlayON.co

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