Pep issues warning to Prem over Sane, Sterling

Date published: Wednesday 8th March 2017 9:30 - Matthew Stead

Pep Guardiola has challenged in-form Manchester City duo Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling to get even better.

The pair, operating either side of a central striker, have brought plenty of pace and threat to the City attack in recent months, both out wide and coming inside, and earned plenty of praise.

City have not lost in eight Premier League games when Sane and Sterling have started, and the pair finished highly on our list of the ten best partnerships of the season.

Sane, 21, had a quiet start to life with City after his £37million move from Schalke last summer, but has really caught the eye of late by scoring six goals in his last 10 appearances.

Guardiola said of the German: “People believed when he arrived here he would immediately settle within a few seconds. He needed time, but the quality was there in the beginning.

“He’s playing good, but also we show him a lot of clips of the not good things he is doing and what he can improve.

“At the end, we cannot expect that someone of 20, 21 years old is done. He has a lot to do to be a better player.

“Sane has good actions as a winger, but still has to be in (the full) 90 minutes more in the games. Sometimes he disappears a little bit, but that is part of the process.”

England forward Sterling has been rejuvenated since Guardiola took charge last summer. The 22-year-old had a difficult, injury-hit end to his first season at City following his acrimonious £44million move from Liverpool and then endured a torrid Euro 2016.

Guardiola said: “He’s playing a lot, a lot of minutes, a lot of games. It’s true how many chances he creates, how many chances he scores from. He creates penalties, he is aggressive without the ball and and presses and many other things.

“But it is the same case as Leroy, he is a guy who still needs to improve. I would not like him to believe or think that it’s already done, that he’s good enough.

“He can be better, especially in the simple things. Still he makes mistakes in the simple and easy things. When he improves that – wow!

“You have to start with the simple things and then work on dribbling the ball, scoring goals, these kind of things. But he has the talent.”

Guardiola noted the role Sterling played in helping Sane settle at City and is pleased the pair seem to have struck up a strong off-field friendship, indicative of the strong team spirit at the club.

He said: “I didn’t see too many times Sane pass to Raz or Raz pass to Sane, but that is nice, of course we like it.

“It was nice when we went to Abu Dhabi to see how close they are. That is the most precious and beautiful thing.

“Team spirit is better than ever since I’ve been here. That’s what I like the most. Everybody is involved.”

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