Southgate Hails Sterling’s Leadership Qualities

Southgate Hails Sterling’s Leadership Qualities

Gareth Southgate feels Raheem Sterling is developing the leadership qualities to become an influential figure for England, on and off the pitch. The Manchester City forward hit a hat-trick as Southgate’s side got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign under way with an impressive 5-0 win over the Czech Republic.

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Next up is a trip to face Montenegro in Podgorica tonight, with Sterling expected to retain his place in the team. The 24-year-old has scored five goals in his last three international outings and has amassed 15 Premier League strikes for City so far this season.

Southgate revealed he has added Sterling to his leadership group, which also contains captain Harry Kane as well as other more senior internationals such as Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier. “In between November and March, observing his maturity and influence, I felt that would be a good step for him,” the England manager said of his decision.

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“I think when you speak to other young players, he’s one of the first they speak about making them feel really comfortable in the environment. That was a really important move for him.” Southgate stopped short of hailing Sterling as a potential future England captain but believes he is showing similar traits to those who have worn the armband previously.

“We’ve had three or four players captaining the team, and Raheem is developing lots of the qualities those guys have,” he said. “He has those qualities. It’s difficult to talk about a potential captain when the captain is in the hotel waiting to go out for dinner, but in terms of his personal qualities, he’s shown some outstanding personal qualities.”

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