On both a personal and team level, 2018/19 was hugely successful for Raheem Sterling and he’s next up in our series focusing on the players who made our Fourmidable season possible…
Squad number: 7
Total appearances: 51
Total goals: 25
Total assists: 18
Premier League appearances: 34
Premier League goals: 17
Premier League assists: 10
Total Premier League passes: 1263
How to pick a highlight from a season that will likely rank as the standout campaign of Sterling’s career to date?
There were numerous moments of quality and several match-winning displays.
That’s why his 2018/19 exploits were bookended by the PFA Young Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards.
But it was the 3-1 win against Watford in March that perhaps encapsulated what Sterling’s season was all about – leading by example.
His influence on a team which boasts a blockbuster ensemble of attacking talents has grown considerably and in 2018/19 it was so often Sterling who City relied upon for moments of inspiration.
That was the case against Watford, when he putting the Hornets to the sword with a 13th minute hat-trick and his third goal further evidenced his improvement in front of goal, cutting inside two Watford defenders to finish with aplomb.
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It was the sort of display we’ve come to expect from Sterling and that in itself speaks volumes about his role in this team.
Twenty-five goals and 18 assists in 51 games is exceptional.
And it was an exceptional season from Sterling.
His threat and effectiveness in the final third was a sign of the progress he’s made under Pep Guardiola, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
City’s No.7 demonstrated a maturity in his play throughout a season in which he became a real leader in the squad.
There were countless moments of inspiration, beginning with an opening day goal against Arsenal and also including his last gasp winner against Schalke and his brace against Crystal Palace as the title race reached fever pitch.
Add to that his Carabao Cup winning penalty and you recall that many of City’s big moments belonged to Sterling.
That’s on the pitch. Off it, he was exceptional, too, speaking articulately about racism to ensure that his status as a role model was felt beyond the football community.
A fine season from a fine player.