This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on talkSPORT, Trevor Sinclair has revealed Raheem Sterling can be held in the same regard as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Manchester City winger enjoyed an impressive campaign last year for Pep Guardiola’s side, racking up 25 goals and 18 assists. His start to the current season has been similarly scintillating, with Sterling netting a hat-trick in the side’s opening Premier League game against West Ham.
Now, Sinclair has heaped praise on the England international, and made a huge claim about the kind of company the 24-year-old is keeping.
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He said: “Raheem Sterling is right at the top of the tree, for me. If he’s not worth £200m now, I’d be surprised. He’s the best player playing for England and he’s the first player on the team sheet for Pep Guardiola. The big question now is where do you put him with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo? I would put him right amongst them. He’s there now.
“If he continues in this form he’s showing, people are going to start talking about him being the best player in the world and I think he’s deserved that honour. His end product and decision making and productivity he brings to England and Manchester City is so consistent, he’s got to be regarded as one of the best players in the world.”
So the conversation behind Sterling being considered one of the best players in the world is gaining traction. First it was Tony Cascarino who suggested the Englishman is better than Neymar, and now Sinclar has weighed in on the argument by going one step further with his level of comparison. Messi and Ronaldo? Seriously? As good as the City forward has been, it’s almost insulting to the Ballon d’Or winning duo to suggest he is in the same boat as them at the moment.
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As always, consistency will be the key. If he can continue to perform at the high standards he has set himself in the past 12-18 months, then he will perhaps be more deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as Ronaldo and Messi. Until then, Sterling simply has to shut out the plaudits and focus on his football.