Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Raheem Sterling has matured into a fearless player in their two years together.
Sterling was on superb form in City’s 6-1 thrashing of Southampton, scoring twice and assisting two more.
Under the Spaniard’s guidance the 23-year-old has become one of the best forwards in the country.
Guardiola has been impressed by the Englishman’s bravery in front of goal, suggesting it’s the biggest change that has happened to the player in their time together.
“The first season, he was scared. He was looking, who is the guy I am going to pass the ball to?
“We spoke about that and said: ‘Try to score goals. Now you have the feeling, where is the goal and go over there.’
“I have the feeling he is now enjoying scoring goals and making assists. He is becoming a winning player. He is stable and is focused on what he has to do to become a better player.
“Now He is more mature than he was when we first met at the club. He believes more in himself. Hopefully he can be more ambitious and think he can improve. He is 23 and he can be a better player.”
Asked if the player should now be ranked amongst the world’s best footballers, the 47-year-old replied:
“He is a top player but still is so young to be considered the world’s best,” said the City boss.
“He is in incredible form, he is sharp, fast, clever, fighting, decisive, he can play both sides and can play in the middle and receive the ball between the lines and commit the centre-backs with a lot of aggressiveness.
“It was an incredible performance but still with the young guys like him and Leroy [Sane] I would feel he can improve.
“Still he loses simple balls, like the Tottenham game, when he made an amazing assist in the first few minutes but then lost a lot of balls.”