Manchester City supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season at the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into their encounter with struggling Southampton having won eight and drawn the other two of their opening ten league matches, thus sitting level on points with Liverpool at the summit of the division. Yet the Citizens have taken the outright lead after thumping the Saints 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium, which coupled with Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal a day earlier moved Guardiola’s side two points clear of the Merseyside giants at the top of the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many delighted City fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who has made a huge claim about Citizens star Raheem Sterling, who again produced the goods in netting twice and laying on two assists against Mark Hughes’ Saints.
And that has led former Liverpool defender Carragher to state that he is now in the ‘company’ of the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Kevin De Bruyne in terms of how important he is to Guardiola’s team – and such has been his form in the last 12 months, it’s hard to argue with the Sky Sports pundit.
Ultimately, it took time for the England international to make his mark at the Etihad Stadium following his controversial move from Liverpool back in 2015, netting 11 times in his first season at the club before bagging on ten occasions the season after, in what was Guardiola’s first in charge of the Citizens.
Yet the 23-year-old has since taken it to another level in scoring 23 goals in all competitions last season to help Guardiola’s men win the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, 18 goals of which coming in their record-breaking league campaign which saw him finish the third highest scoring Englishman in the league behind Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
And he has started this season in similar fashion in netting six goals and laying on six assists in 13 games in all competitions for the Citizens, with his all round display against Southampton at the weekend underlining just how important he has become to Guardiola’s team.
No Man City player was involved in more goals than Sterling (23 goals and 17 assists) in all competitions last season – Aguero netted 30 goals and laid on seven assists, De Bruyne bagged 12 and laid on 21 assists, while Silva scored ten and assisted 14. That’s quite a feat for the Englishman to achieve.
So while many marvel at the exploits of messrs Aguero, De Bruyne, and Silva, and rightly so given just how talented and exceptional they were for much of last season, Carragher is spot on to put Sterling’s name among those in terms of significance in this City team – the statistics speak for themselves.
Arguably, the 23-year-old doesn’t get the credit he deserves from many fans around the country, perhaps given his struggles in an England shirt in recent times, but there is little doubting that he is playing a vital part in a team which accumulated 100 points in the league last term, and are threatening to do as well this time round too.
So while it’s a huge claim from Carragher to put Sterling’s name among ‘that company’ of City stars, he’s absolutely spot on to do so.
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