Raheem Sterling is playing his best football at Manchester City at the moment. He has been a key reason why City have been as successful as they have, scoring late goals to win games and working well with his teammates, however, the question is will he be able to replicate these performances for his country on the biggest stage?

England recently secured their place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia after finishing top of their qualifying group, and now the process of picking their final squad for the competition begins.

This means players have six months worth of football to try and impress the England selectors and prove why they should be on the plane to Russia, and Sterling looks to be wasting no time in staking his claim for a place in the squad.

Previous International Tournaments

Of course Raheem Sterling isn’t new to international football, as he broke onto the world’s stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Despite only being 19 years of age at his first major tournament, he put in some impressive solo performances, however, it wasn’t enough to inspire his team as England finished bottom of their group and managed to score just two goals in their three group games.

After a bright start to his young career, it was very different two years later at Euro 2016 in France.

With expectations higher, Sterling’s impact on the games decreased as he failed to score in any of England’s four games. Many of the fans were calling for manager Roy Hodgson to drop the youngster to the bench, however despite showing faith in Sterling his faith wasn’t repaid as England crashed out after a shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland in the round of 16.

On England’s road to the upcoming 2018 World Cup, Sterling featured in seven of England’s 10 qualifying fixtures but despite winning five of those seven matches, he failed to leave his mark on the qualification campaign after he failed to score any goals. Looking at his track record of international football, many would probably wonder why England would even consider taking Sterling to the World Cup, however, it’s his club form which stands out.

Sterling Impressing At Manchester City

Sterling is now in his third season at Manchester City after becoming the most expensive English player of all time when he signed in 2015 for £50m. He made a steady start to his career at the Etihad Stadium, scoring six goals in his debut Premier League season with the club, and then followed that up by scoring seven goals last season.

Whilst his goal tally may not look too impressive, the fact that he managed to play over 30 games in both seasons says a lot about his performances, with the strength in depth City have to pick their line up from. The fact he’s been able to fight off tough competition to keep his place in the side shows how well he’s played since his arrival, and that hasn’t changed this season.

So far this season, City have taken 37 points from a possible 39 and have looked almost unbeatable. A key part to this success has been Sterling who has already scored nine goals in 12 Premier League games this season, including late winning goals in City’s last two games against Huddersfield and Southampton to give his side six vital points. On top of this, Sterling has scored in four of City’s five Champions League group games, picking up wins against Napoli, Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk whilst securing their place in the knockout phase of the competition.

If the season were to end now, many could make the argument he may pose England’s biggest threat at the World Cup, and whilst there are still 25 games left in the Premier League season, Sterling is certainly wasting no time in showing Gareth Southgate and the England selectors that he not only wants to be involved in the squad, but that he wants to play a key role within Southgate’s starting 11.