Manuel Pellegrini is happy with Raheem Sterling’s start to life at Manchester City but believes the former Liverpool man is a long way from his peak.
City’s recent form has been patchy, with just three wins from seven games in all competitions. But they will now look to build momentum after Tuesday’s uplifting come-from-behind win against Borussia Monchengladbach to win their Champions League group.
City scored three goals in the last 11 minutes to win 4-2 with two goals coming from Sterling on his 21st birthday.
Pellegrini was pleased with the performance of the £49million summer signing, who has now scored eight goals this season, but he expects the England international to continue improving.
Pellegrini said: “I think Raheem always works very well, from the first day to now. Maybe he plays different games, one better and another not so good, but I think the most important thing is to work every day with important players like David (Silva), Kun (Sergio Aguero) and Yaya (Toure). Those things are very important for a young player to improve.
“He is just 21 years old so he has a lot of years to improve. In the way he is doing, I think we will see he will improve year by year.
“He cannot be a player who scores just 11 goals as he did in another season. I hope in the future he will finish better and be involved more.”
Sterling will continue to carry some of the team’s goalscoring burden in the absence of Sergio Aguero against Swansea City on Saturday. The Argentine remains on the sidelines with a heel problem but could be back in training next week.
“We then play on Monday against Arsenal so we hope he will be fit for that game,” said Pellegrini, who is also still without captain Vincent Kompany.
Striker Wilfried Bony will also hope to start against the club he left in a £25million deal in January. The Ivorian’s City career is yet to take off after absences for international duty, illness and injuries, and struggles for form.
Pellegrini said: “He didn’t do it against Stoke, but he did a very good performance against Borussia.”