Kevin De Bruyne has backed Raheem Sterling to prove his doubters wrong after another impressive display in Manchester City’s 4-1 victory over Stoke City.
Sterling has come in for criticism after struggling for consistency in his first campaign at City, and flattering to deceive during Euro 2016 with England.
Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola Sterling has begun the 2016-17 season well, starting all three games under the Spaniard so far.
The 21-year-old has flourished with his pace and trickery, with Sterling’s form earning his side two penalties already and creating the fourth for Nolito at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
“He’s a great player,” said De Bruyne. “I don’t care what people say about him after last season or the Euros – these things happen, footballers have ups and downs.
“Hopefully he can continue [like] this for us now because he is very dangerous.
“I don’t think he’s really bothered about people talking about him. Everywhere he goes in England there are lots of fans of the opposing team shouting at him.
“I don’t know why because he’s a great English player, they should be supporting him instead of booing him. But that’s the way it goes – at least City supporters will cheer him.
“I don’t know how it goes in England when he plays for the national team. Obviously he’s been criticised a lot in the last year but the way he’s responding is great. You can talk as much as you want off the pitch but you have to show it on the pitch – and Raheem is doing just that.”