Raheem Sterling’s rise to dominance under Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has triggered comparisons to some of the best wingers in the world. His ability to spring a surprise and change the game in an instant has come to Manchester City's aid numerous times.
Sterling’s biggest weapon in his armoury is his consistency. He has displayed great consistency for club and country over the past few months.
Last season, the England international scored 17 goals and provided 10 assists in the Premier League, thus producing a goal involvement per every 102.85 minutes he played. In the Champions League, it saw a slight decrease to a goal-involvement per 124.43 minutes, as he scored five goals and provided two more assists in 10 games.
These numbers are phenomenal, considering City has immense depth in quality and Sterling has to battle with world class players such as David Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva to improve his numbers.
The 24-year-old has already scored six goals in seven Premier League games this season and has been involved in two goals in just 124 minutes of playing time in the Champions League. He has seemingly picked up from where he left off last season.
It helps City that Sterling has translated his good form at his club to the national team too. He has scored eight goals in six games for England in the Euro qualifiers, playing a key role in their healthy run in the competition.
He scored a goal and provided another in England’s 6-0 win over Bulgaria last week and was also their best player in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Goals and assists aside, Sterling has been highly influential on the wing and his eye for a pass has created several goal-scoring opportunities for Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Mahrez. His movement and ability to link well with Kevin De Bruyne and expect his crosses with great precision make him City’s X-factor as they take on Atalanta in the Champions League.