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Sterling has reached 'another world' thanks to Guardiola, says Toure

9:03 AM MYT 02/04/2019
Raheem Sterling - cropped
The former Man City star praised Pep Guardiola for taking his ex-team-mate to another level with the reigning Premier League champions

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has helped Raheem Sterling reach "another world" and the attacker deserves to be player of the year, according to Yaya Toure.

Sterling, 24, has starred for City, scoring 15 goals and providing nine assists in 28 Premier League games, as the club hunt for their second straight title against a fierce challenge from the winger's old club, Liverpool.

The England international was a strong performer in City's title-winning season last year, scoring a career high in both Premier League goals (18) and assists (11), but could eclipse both numbers this season as he has put together a campaign which has him in the mix for Premier League player of the year.

And Toure, a City great, thinks Sterling would be a deserving winner of the award and credits Guardiola for taking Sterling to another level this season.

"Raheem, my little brother, joined when [Manuel] Pellegrini was at the club. Since Pep arrived Raheem is in another world. He is complete," he told the Mirror.

"Pep has given him the confidence he has needed. When he played for Liverpool I was always scared of him because he is short and so fast, so quick. Him and [Luis] Suarez and [Philippe] Coutinho? They were unplayable.

"But when he first arrived at City I had to ask myself [whether] it was the right choice for him because he was struggling a lot.

"He had a lot of criticism and it was hard for him, but he continued to work and now he deserves the player of the year."

Toure is not the first to have claimed Sterling is deserving of the award, as England boss Gareth Southgate said the winger should be up for it, while international team-mate Harry Kane admitted the Man City star could win it and Harry Maguire called him the league's best player in 2018-19

Sterling has also been at the forefront of efforts against racism this year, most recently speaking out after England players reported racial abuse during their victory over Montenegro in a Euro 2020 qualification match.

Prior to the Montenegro match, Sterling spoke out after he suffered alleged abuse during a game against Chelsea, addressing racism by fans as well as a double standard in media over the coverage of black athletes