Steven Gerrard reckons Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling must add more goals to his game if he is to live up to his £49million price tag.
Sterling failed to convert two gilt-edged opportunities in City’s 2-1 Champions League loss to Juventus on Tuesday, and Gerrard challenged his former Liverpool team-mate to “sharpen up” in front of goal.
Last season, Sterling scored seven goals in 35 Premier League matches for Liverpool and nine in 33 the campaign prior.
At the Etihad Stadium against Juventus, Sterling had City’s first chance of the match but his right-foot effort was blocked by the legs of visiting goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The Juventus gloveman had a fantastic match and also denied Sterling on the break in the second half, with the 20-year-old winger failing to produce too much power with his left boot when one-on-one with Buffon, who tipped the low shot away.
“I think at this point in his career he is trying to add goals to his game,” Gerrard said on BT Sport.
“It is something that he does need to sharpen up on.
“It’s on his left foot [the second-half chance] but you need to show a bit more power and a bit more accuracy there. It’s a great save but he needs to do better.
“For me, I think Raheem will be very disappointed he hasn’t scored a goal tonight. He’s still a young boy. He’s gone there [to City] with a big price tag and there’s big pressure on him. At this level you’ve got to deliver. It is something he needs to brush up on very quickly.”
With gun striker Sergio Aguero out injured, City appeared to lack something up front, with stand-in centre forward Wilfried Bony slicing a shot when in a fantastic position at the top of the box in the first half.
Gerrard’s fellow BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand reckons City manager Manuel Pellegrini is too reliant on Aguero.
“Pellegrini doesn’t know how to get his team functioning in the Champions League,” the former Manchester United defender said.
“Aguero being injured is a huge miss for them, but they’ve spent so much money, and others have to step up to the plate.”