Raheem Sterling seems to divide opinion in the soccer world—but it cannot be doubted that he is producing on the field this season. With 15 goals and 9 assists, no Premier League player has contributed to more goals in this campaign than the English midfielder… that’s right, not Sergio Aguero, not Sadio Mane or Eden Hazard. And he’s actually posted double figures for goals and assists in each of the past five seasons.
In years gone by, Sterling has faced unfavorable media coverage for his actions on and off the field, and has sometimes failed to deliver a final product. However, since joining Manchester City in 2015 he has improved every single season—and is now operating on another level. For me, he’s the best player in the Premier League right now.
While Aguero and Bernardo Silva have been exceptional for Man City this year, it is Sterling who is truly standing out - not just for his goal stats, but his incredible movement off the ball, the space he creates for others in the final third and the authority he is able to stamp onto every game. A lot of his best qualities can’t be summarized by stats.
Shortly after his hat-trick for England last week, national teammate Harry Maguire said that Sterling got his vote for the PFA Player of the Year award. “He’s scoring goals, creating goals and he’s a nightmare to play against,” said the Leicester defender.
So who else is in contention for player of the year? Well, Hazard has been superb for Chelsea, Mane has been Liverpool’s most consistent striker and Aguero is the league’s top scorer once again. But Sterling’s biggest competitor for the status of the Premier League’s best player is almost certainly Virgil Van Dijk.
He’s likely the best defender in the world and has turned Liverpool into title contenders. The Dutchman might also have the edge in the PFA voting because no Man City player has ever won the Player of the Year award, which seems a little remiss for a side with three Premier League titles.
But like Harry Maguire, my vote goes with Sterling: he’s leading one of the league’s all-time greatest teams to a quadruple, he’s in the form of his life and he’s also showing himself to be a role model on and off the field.
Raheem Sterling could soon be captain for his club and country —and he’s the Premier League’s best player right now.
If you disagree, change my mind by having your say in the comments or by following @FCYahoo on your favorite social channels.