Following a bright start to the Premier League season in a Manchester City shirt, defender John Stones has backed club and country teammate Raheem Sterling to carry his current form over to his international efforts and break his scoring duck for England.
The forward has not scored for his country since finding the back of the net against Estonia during a Euro 2016 qualifier in October 2015. Despite his barren run in front of goal, Sterling remains a regular in the Three Lions’ side, having featured consistently at the World Cup, and Stones has backed his compatriot to rediscover his scoring touch for his country.
Via the Mirror, Stones said: “Raz was unbelievable in the World Cup. I know he got a lot of negativity towards him, but what he brought to the team – he terrorised defences and that got overshadowed.
“He has such a great mentality, to keep coming out every week and doing what he does, and brush it all aside.
“On a personal level, I was upset for Raheem because what he brings to this team, as we saw with his goal against Newcastle, is immense.
GOAL! Manchester City 2-1 Newcastle (Walker, 52)— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 1, 2018
Kyle Walker restores Manchester City's lead with a thumping drive from distance! Both right-backs are now on the scoresheet!
Follow the second half on our blog here: https://t.co/v4MV5TXIXO pic.twitter.com/vuwb5brACB
“And it’s not just about goals, he creates chances, takes on his full back – he does everything right and more.
“I hope if we do play for England that one goes in and then that is that, we can put it all to bed.
“If that happens, he can go on to show the world how good he is.”
Sterling’s fine effort during City’s 2-1 win over Newcastle was the latest addition to his impressive scoring record for Pep Guardiola’s side, one which he has often been widely criticised for failing to replicate in an England shirt.
Gareth Southgate’s side take on Spain at Wembley on Saturday in their opening match of the UEFA Nations League – their first outing since exiting the World Cup at the semi-final stage to Croatia in the summer.
Sterling is likely to resume his striking role alongside Harry Kane in leading the line for the Three Lions, as the pair formed a strong attacking partnership during the World Cup.