Pep Guardiola has warned Man City’s rivals there is more to come from Raheem Sterling after he starred in the 6-1 win over Southampton. Sterling scored a brace – taking him to 50 City goals – and added two assists in Sunday’s big win to cap off a week in which he verbally agreed a new five-year deal with the reigning champions.
“He is in incredible form,” Guardiola said. “He is sharp, fast, clever, fighting, ambitious and is decisive. He can play on both sides and in the middle and receive the ball behind the lines and always commit the centre-back with a lot of aggression. “It was an incredible performance with and without the ball but still with the young guys like him and Leroy (Sane) I would like to feel they can still improve.”
On this form it was easy to see why City have worked so hard to tie down the 23-year-old Sterling to new terms.
He was the man Sane was looking for when his cross was turned into his own net by Wesley Hoedt for the opening goal, and Sterling then set up Sergio Aguero for the second before playing a role in David Silva’s strike that made it 3-0.
After Danny Ings pulled one back from the spot – Southampton’s first league goal since September 17 – Sterling got City’s fourth in first-half stoppage time, then the fifth in the 67th minute before ending the day by setting up Sane for number six.
“I have the feeling he is now enjoying scoring goals and making assists and being important in winning games,” Guardiola added. “He is becoming a winning player and he is just 23 years old.
We cannot forget that. “He is stable and is focused on what he has to do to become a better player. If he has his mind to become a better player, and think it is not enough what I am like as a football player, he can reach whatever he wants.”