Considering Raheem Sterling’s sensational form in front of goal for Manchester City this season, it’s not a surprise to see the winger to continue in the same vein for England but the diminutive winger’s cheeky finish in a Three Lions training session has turned heads on Instagram.
Sterling nonchalantly beats what appears to be Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with a bold Cryuff first-time shot on a low cross even as Joe Hart watches on in amusement.
As the video ends, a concerned-looking Sterling, who’s scored 21 goals in all competitions for the Citizens this season, runs over to the camera and asks, “Did you get that, yeah?”
England manager Gareth Southgate will hope Sterling’s club form carries forward for The Three Lions as well as they take on Holland (March 23) and Italy (March 27) in two high-profile international friendlies.
With star striker Harry Kane injured, Southgate could be tempted to utilise Sterling in a false-nine role but with the likes of Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) all available, it’s likelier England will play the Sky Blues man as a winger.
England aren’t favourites for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which kicks off in June by any stretch of the imagination but their youthful squad has sparked hope among their fans that they can upset some of the heavyweights.
Holland and Italy, usually contenders for every major tournament, have failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia after a dismal qualifying campaign and are the midst of rebuilding their national sides.
The Three Lions, however, would not be treating their opponents lightly and while Southgate is expected to name different starting XIs for both ties, no excuses will be entertained should they fail to beat their opponents.
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They play Nigeria (June 2) and Costa Rica (June 6) in their final tune-up matches before the quadrennial tournament in Russia.
Southgate’s men have been drawn in a tough World Cup group consisting of Belgium, Tunisia and Panama.