Pep Guardiola: Raheem Sterling 'one of the best players I ever had'

Pep Guardiola hails Raheem Sterling ‘one of the most fantastic players I ever had’ as the Manchester City and England winger prepares to take on his former club Liverpool

  • Manchester City take on Liverpool in Sunday’s blockbuster Premier League clash
  • Raheem Sterling has scored twice in his last three meetings with his former side 
  • Pep Guardiola has described Sterling as one of the best players he has ever had
  • Sterling is leading the goalscoring charts for City with five goals in nine matches 

Pep Guardiola has described Raheem Sterling as one of the best players he’s coached in his career ahead of Manchester City’s crucial match with Liverpool. 

The England forward is leading the goalscoring charts for Manchester City again this season with five goals in nine matches as his form softens the blow to recent injuries up front to Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

Sterling will face up against his former side in Sunday’s blockbuster Premier League clash having scored in two out of his last three matches against the Reds, who he played 129 times for before his £50million transfer to City in 2015.  

Pep Guardiola (right) says Raheem Sterling (left) is one of the best players he’s ever coached

The Manchester City forward (right) is leading the goalscoring charts for the club this season

When asked whether Sterling will be involved against Liverpool, Guardiola said: ‘He will be there again. 

‘There will be a moment when he takes a rest but he is so important for us. That is why we cannot (leave him out).

‘He is an exceptional player. With his physicality he plays all the minutes. He is one of the most fantastic players I ever had in my career.’

‘He is a better player than when he arrived. He’s exceptional. I am pretty sure of his mentality and desire to win and improve a lot.’

Guardiola (right) claimed Sterling is so important to City’s game due to his physicality 

Under former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola, Sterling has scored 94 goals in 205 appearances in all competitions for City with his season goal tally increasing after every single campaign. 

The 25-year-old had his best season in front of goal last term, ending the 2019-20 campaign with 31 goals to his name, including 20 in the Premier League. 

Despite this continual improvement, Guardiola has demanded that Sterling remains grounded as he attempts to maintain his status as one of English football’s top attackers.

Sterling is planning to take on former club Liverpool on Sunday in a crucial league fixture

Guardiola (right) has asked Sterling to remain grounded if he wants to reach the top

Guardiola added: ‘He deserves a lot. I wish in three, four, five years he will be a much, much better player than he is today. 

‘Will he be one of the best in the world if he carries on improving? My advice, I would say to him don’t think about this. It makes no sense. 

‘Just enjoy the life; focus and destiny will dictate who he becomes as a player. It depends on him.’

Manchester City go into Sunday’s clash with Liverpool five points behind last year’s Premier League champions in the table, though Guardiola’s side have played one game less this season. 

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