BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand hasn’t held back in his praise of Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling, declaring him to be better than Eden Hazard and Philippe Coutinho on current form.
Sterling also set up Sergio Aguero’s first goal last night as Pep Guardiola’s men came from behind to record an emphatic victory and Ferdinand believes he has left the former Premier League pair of Hazard and Coutinho in his shadow.
Speaking on BT Sport [via Manchester Evening News], he said: “If you look at the likes of Coutinho, Hazard, they can’t look at Raheem Sterling right now. They don’t get the numbers, they don’t get goals and assists and affect games the way this man does at the moment.
“Every game, he’s creating three or four chances whether it’s a pass, a shot at goal, his running off the ball, his strength is ridiculous. His resilience in terms of taking tackles and staying fit is phenomenal.”
When asked if Sterling is the best player in the Premier League, Ferdinand replied: “On form, I think so. He’s definitely in that conversation, this man is just scoring goals. I love everything about him, his attitude, his humility.” [BT Sport, via Manchester Evening News]
The former Manchester United defender is right in highlighting Sterling’s superior scoring record in comparison to Hazard and Coutinho.
The Manchester City winger now has 12 for the season in just 13 games (0.92 goals per game), as well as registering four assists (0.31 per game). With 1,093 minutes of gametime for his club so far in 2019/20, that works out at an average of one goal per 91.08 minutes and an assist every 273.25 minutes. [via TransferMarkt]
Additionally, he has scored four goals and set up a further six in four England caps since the start of September (one goal and 1.5 assists per game). Those came in 324 minutes of Euro 2020 qualifying action, with a goal every 81 minutes and an assist every 54 minutes. [via TransferMarkt]
Hazard, who signed for Real Madrid from Chelsea in June for an initial £88.5m, potentially rising to £130m (as per The Guardian), has scored once and set up two goals in seven appearances for the La Liga club, an average of 0.14 goals and 0.29 assists per game. Having played for 505 minutes in total, he has so far averaged one assist every 252.5 minutes. [via TransferMarkt]
Coutinho, who joined Barcelona from Liverpool for an initial £105m, potentially rising to £142m (as per BBC) in January 2018, is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, where he has scored twice and set up four assists in 10 games this season (0.2 goals and 0.4 assists per game). [via TransferMarkt]
With 715 minutes under his belt for the Bundesliga outfit, that gives him an average of one goal per 357.5 minutes and an assist every 178.75 minutes.
Although both Hazard and Coutinho have better assists-per-minute averages at club level this season, neither can come close to matching Sterling’s phenomenal scoring return, which makes Ferdinand’s comparison of the players a fair one on their current form.
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