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“He’s a crucial part of us doing well!”- National team coach identifies Man City star as key component to international squad

England manager Gareth Southgate has complimented Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling’s attitude and ability ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Albania.

Sterling, who captained his country and scored in the first half against San Marino on Thursday night, is enjoying a relatively productive season despite rarely hitting the heights of his best form.

With 13 goals this campaign for his club, he’s Manchester City’s highest-scoring forward.

Sterling’s international manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for the 26-year-old when speaking ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Albania.

The England boss said, “He’s a very important player. We know when opponents are looking at our team, Raheem is one of the players that they’ll be looking at and worried about. He’s got the bit between his teeth. He wants to play well for England.”

He continued, “In September, after a week’s holiday, his desire to win and his will to win the game in Iceland when we went down to 10 men, it was phenomenal just to see that drive and that passion. That’s a big part of Sterling’s game.”

“He is a driven player… whenever there’s a challenge in front of him, he wants to step up and take that on. He is determined to do well. He wants to have a big summer with us. He’s a crucial part of us doing well.”

Raheem Sterling’s international career stagnated for a worryingly long time before he exploded onto the scene in October 2018 with a brace against Spain.

Since then he’s scored 12 goals – just one fewer than Harry Kane and more than any other England player.

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