Let’s kick off with the former. He’s a doting dad. He mocks his own on-pitch mishaps. He’s gracious in defeat. He’s seemingly never too busy to sign an autograph or pose for a selfie with a fan. He’s never forgotten his childhood buddies. He’s devoted to charitable causes.
As for the latter, TSZ spotlights ten statistics that ridicule Sterling being the supposed bait for Arsenal when Manchester City went fishing for Alexis Sanchez, being so often stickered a scapegoat and, despite being raved about overseas, not being embraced as one of the finest attacking players on the planet within English borders.
200 Premier League appearances is what Sterling became the fifth-youngest player to reach at the age of 23 years and 325 days. Wayne Rooney was the youngest at 22 years and 346 days, followed by James Milner, Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Barry.
50 Premier League goals is what Sterling became the 11th-youngest player to reach at the age of 23 years and 247 days – and he did it invariably from out wide. Eight of the ten players above him played exclusively up front, while the others, Emile Heskey and Cristiano Ronaldo, went from being wingers to forwards. The top ten is, from youngest to oldest: Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler (both 20), Wayne Rooney (21), Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo (both 22), Harry Kane, Heskey, Andy Cole, Chris Sutton and Robbie Keane (all 23).
47 England caps is what Sterling had when he turned 24 last week. Only two players managed more as 23-year-olds – Michael Owen (53) and Wayne Rooney (56). Several England greats had far fewer caps than Sterling when they turned 24, including Chris Waddle (0), Peter Beardsley (0), Gary Lineker (1), David Platt (5), Glenn Hoddle (8), Kevin Keegan (9), Alan Shearer (10) and Paul Gascoigne (20).
Sterling again. He can’t stop scoring. I hadn’t even made my debut for England at his age.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 15, 2018
39 assists is what Sterling has in 205 Premier League appearances. The only English players to have provided more assists in their first 205 outings in the competition are David Beckham (64), Steve McManaman (50), Darren Anderton (49), Matt Le Tissier (49) and Wayne Rooney (42). Frank Lampard, one of only two Englishmen to have recorded over 100 assists in the Premier League, had only 16 after 205 appearances.
19 years and 188 days is the age that makes Sterling, for his appearance against Italy – fittingly in the No.19 shirt – at Brazil 2014, the third-youngest player to start a World Cup match for England behind Michael Owen and Luke Shaw, who were both 18. Bobby Charlton controversially wasn’t unfastened from the bench as a 20-year-old at Sweden 1958, Wayne Rooney was 20 when he made his maiden World Cup start, Bobby Moore and Alan Ball were 21, and Paul Gascoigne was 23.
17 years and 342 days makes Sterling the second-youngest post-war player to start for England behind Wayne Rooney (17 years and 160 days). Sterling had, amazingly, made only 10 Premier League starts for Liverpool when he lined up against Sweden in 2012 – he had to play co-headliner to four-goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and knocked Michael Owen and Duncan Edwards (both 18) down the top ten.
10 penalties is what Sterling has won in the Premier League since joining Manchester City. Only Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has earned more – and marginally – in this period.
5 positions is what Raheem Sterling has already functioned in in his young career. The Kingston native has invariably operated on the right-wing, but has also played on the left-wing, in a free role, as a striker and a right-wingback.
1.08 gives Sterling (14 in 13) the best goal-and-assist-per-game ratio in the 2018-19 Premier League. The City No.7 is followed by Eden Hazard (1.0), Sergio Aguero (0.92), Mohamed Salah (0.88), Callum Wilson (0.87) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (0.81). It has taken Sterling only 79 minutes to average a goal or an assist in the league this season.
0 players had scored in their first six Premier League appearances against a specific club until Sterling became the first earlier this month. The winger netted in each of his first six encounters with Bournemouth (eight goals in total).