‘He would be welcomed anywhere – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich’: Graeme Souness hails ‘real deal’ Raheem Sterling and says Manchester City star is better than Liverpool’s Sadio Mane after hat-trick at Brighton
- Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City cruised to a 5-0 victory
- The England forward has now scored 27 goals in all competitions this season
- Graeme Souness said he would be welcomed at any club across the globe
Graeme Souness has lauded praise on Raheem Sterling after his hat-trick against Brighton and said he would be welcomed anywhere in the world.
The England international made it 17 league goals for the season, after he helped Manchester City to a comfortable 5-0 thrashing of Brighton.
Sterling has been in fine form since the resumption of football, with six goals in the six games he has featured in over the past month.
Raheem Sterling grabbed the match-ball after his hat trick during a 5-0 win over Brighton
Sterling’s form could be invaluable for Manchester City ahead of the Champions League
After the match Sky Sports pundit Souness hailed the 25-year-old after his dominant performance.
‘Sterling is the real deal. He would be welcomed anywhere in the world – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich.’
Souness and Micah Richards also raised comparisons with Sterling and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane who plays in the same position.
The Senegalese forward has also been in top form this season and has scored 20 goals in all competitions compared to Sterling’s 27.
Former Liverpool player and manager Souness said out of the two he would pick the Englishman.
He said: ‘Sterling he’s younger (than Mane). They’ve got similar qualities but Sterling is already at Mane’s level.
Graeme Souness said after the game that Sterling would be welcomed by any top club
‘Mane is warrior and likewise any team would take him at the moment. Mane is up there at 28-years-old, Sterling is at 25 and there is still another three years before his peak years so I’d have him slightly ahead.’
Richards who is a former Manchester City player, however went the other way on the argument though said it was close between them.
He said: ‘ I don’t know what Sterling and Pep have got going on. We saw Sterling at Liverpool when he was a younger player, but he really is now one of the best players in the world.
‘Sterling is at the same level as Sadio Mane for me, but because Liverpool have won the league and Mane has done more at important times, he just shades it. But in terms of quality Sterling is right up there.’
Souness and Micah Richards had differing opinions on whether he is better than Sadio Mane
The 25-year-old put Manchester City ahead with a low finish from outside the area after cutting in from the left wing after 21 minutes.
Gabriel Jesus added a second before Sterling made it 3-0 when he headed home from a cross by Riyad Mahrez.
Following a goal by Bernardo Silva, Sterling, whose previous hat-tricks came against West Ham and Atalanta, had the final word in bizarre fashion when he chased a pass into the area and saw the ball bounce off the back of his head, go through the legs of Mat Ryan and cross the line.
Raheem Sterling believes his goals will only mean something if they help Manchester City to more silverware.
Sterling capped off the hat-trick when the ball bounced off the back of his head into the net
‘The most important thing to me is the value of these goals, that they add to the team,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘At the end of day we’re trying to win the FA Cup final and win the Champions League as well, otherwise these goals don’t really mean anything.’
Sterling added: ‘I was disappointed last weekend with the loss away at Southampton, we created chances but I didn’t think we finished them.
‘I think the problem we’ve had this season is we’ve been creating a lot of chances, last season and the season before we finished them, but this season we haven’t had that bit of luck. But we’re growing, we’re doing things right and that’s what we need to do.’
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