Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling says his best is yet to come.
The 21-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring five goals and delivering a series of impressive displays.
He’s received widespread praise for the quality of his performances and has arguably been City’s most consistent player this term – but he believes there’s room for improvement and says the fact he is enjoying his football again has made a huge difference.
“I feel happy, most importantly,” he said. “The team is near the top of the table fighting not too far behind the leaders and I’m really enjoying playing my football. That’s the most important thing for me, being free and enjoying my football.
“You’ve not seen the best of me yet. I’m getting there but there’s a lot more to come. I feel more free but there’s a lot more to come, definitely.
“Enjoying your football makes you more confident. I’m taking risks and I know what I can do. My confidence is getting better and better and it’s making me more quick-thinking. The longer this goes on the better it will get.”
Sterling believes much of his improvement can be credited to Pep Guardiola, whose arrival at the Etihad Stadium this summer has helped reinvigorate him after a difficult European Championships with England this summer.
The fluid style encouraged by Guardiola suits Sterling, a player with a gift for producing off-the-cuff magic.
He says that, despite what people think, the Catalan’s ideas are simple to understand.
“He gives me freedom,” he said. “I’m free on the pitch to express myself and to try to create and score goals for my team. He makes sure you’re working hard, enjoying your football and that’s the most important thing.
“I have that excitement, I’m really enjoying fighting teams at the top and we’re going to fight to be at the top at the end of the season. Being a part of that is great but we have to get through these next few games, and try to do our best to get three points.
“He tries to make it as simple as possible for his players to understand. It’s something that we can all relate to and work towards to make it happen. On the board it probably looks complicated but when he breaks it down it’s really simple, we all get the message and we buy into it.
“The important thing is that when the manager speaks the team buy into it and that’s what’s happening now.”
However, one area he believes he can improve is his finishing.
“I want to become more ruthless in front of goal,” he said. “I need to be scoring more goals. That’s where I’m heading to and that’s where I’m looking to get better. In due time it will come.”