Mens Team

Raheem Sterling like a big brother to Ian Poveda

WATCHING AND LEARNING: Ian Poveda trains alongside Raheem Sterling during City's 2019 pre-season tour.
Ian Poveda says he thinks of Raheem Sterling as a big brother due to all the advice he has given the youngster both on and off the pitch.

Sterling has become one of football’s most articulate and inspiring voices in recent years and his delivered plenty of guidance to his 19-year-old team-mate, whose career draws parallels with his own.

Both are pacey wingers who love to commit full-backs and each of them spent a period of their younger years at clubs in West London, with Poveda at Brentford and Sterling at Queens Park Rangers, before heading north.

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Poveda stepped up into the first team environment last season, making his debut against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup.

He continues to train regularly with Pep Guardiola’s squad and says Sterling – who ultimately occupies a wide berth he would hope to fill – has been particularly generous with his advice.

“Raheem’s like my big bro,” he explained. “I appreciate him a lot, with everything he’s done.

“The small advice he gives me in training sessions, it just shows that he cares. I appreciate it, even if I don’t tell him.

“I listen a lot and think it’s true and then I try to implement it in my game all the time.

“I’m glad Raz helps me out. He’s a real good guy. It’s tips on the pitch, like positioning, what to do.

“Off the pitch as well, he gives me great advice. He knows I’m a young player and there are certain things that I haven’t experienced yet.

“I feel like he helps me a lot and I appreciate that.”

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Not only is Poveda getting advice from Sterling, he’s following his lead, too.

With first team opportunities limited this season, the Southwark-born youngster has maintained his match sharpness with Paul Harsley’s Elite Development Squad (EDS), scoring three goals and providing two assists.

Along with Tommy Doyle, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Eric Garcia, he is one of the few players in a young squad with senior experience.

And like Sterling, he’s giving his team-mates the benefit of his advice.

"Having young players in the team I have to help them out and it's good to see that they're learning and improving as well," he added.

"I train with the first team every day and it's really good, I'm learning every day new things. I just have to knuckle down and keep working hard and wait for my opportunity and when it comes I'll take it."

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