'Worked at it': BBC Pundit says key skill has never 'been natural' for Manchester City star

Brian Heffernan April 20, 2021
'Worked at it': BBC Pundit says key skill has never 'been natural' for Manchester City star
Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

BBC pundit Alan Shearer says finishing has never come naturally to Raheem Sterling but he’s improved since joining Manchester City, speaking on the Match Of The Day Top 10 Podcast.

Sterling is having a solid season for Manchester City. The England international has scored nine goals and provided six assists in his 27 Premier League outings.

The Champions League hasn’t been as happy a hunting ground for Sterling, however. He has only managed to score once in nine outings.

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Shearer: Sterling has gone to ‘different level’

But, regardless of the stats, the Premier League’s record goalscorer thinks Sterling has improved monumentally.

Shearer said: “I don’t think finishing has ever been natural to (Sterling) but he has worked at it and has improved massively. 

“He has gone to a different level since joining Manchester City.”

It’s no secret Pep Guardiola is one of the best coaches around and he has worked his magic again when it comes to Sterling.

While a player at Liverpool, the England international notched only 23 goals in 129 matches for the Reds.

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Thriving under Guardiola

Since joining Manchester City, Sterling has played 285 matches. The 26-year-old has scored a staggering 113 goals in those outings. He has also provided 86 assists during that time.

That’s a much better return for Sterling than at Liverpool, which means the team’s style of play suits him more or the 26-year-old has improved his finishing.

Either way, the Sterling who left Liverpool isn’t the same player Guardiola has at his disposal now.

And with the Euros getting ever closer, you have to imagine Sterling will be a big player for England too this summer.

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Brian Heffernan is head of recruitment at Horsham FC. He has also scouted for League Two and Danish clubs and worked freelance in the Russian Premier League. Brian’s work includes trialling and signing players and creating detailed opposition dossiers for first-team managers. He’s also a sports journalist specialising in football.