Having started in all six of their games so far, the Man City attacker has been essential to the Three Lions in their historic run in Euro 2020.
Raheem Sterling will be “absolutely key” for England against Italy in the Euro 2020 final, believes Gary Neville.
While he did not get on the scoresheet, Sterling was crucial to England getting over the line against Denmark in the semi-finals. He earned the penalty for the second goal in the 2-1 win while he could’ve scored the first one himself had Simo Kjaer not rolled the ball into his own net.
The 26-year-old winger set up Harry Kane’s opener in the 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine while was most often than not heavily involved in the Three Lions’ attacks.
Against Germany, he opened the scoring himself while he was the difference-maker for Gareth Southgate’s men against the Czech Republic in the group stages.
“Probably about 4 or 5 days ago, I just thought Jordan Pickford,” said Neville on Sky Sports while discussing England’s best player at Euros. “Luke Shaw has been outstanding and Kyle Walker has been absolutely brilliant. Kalvin Phillips, amazing in central midfield.
“But you’d have to say now with what Raheem Sterling did last night, he definitely jumps in front of those if he wasn’t there before. He was too good for them (Denmark).
“And somehow on Sunday, we have got to find a way to draw Chiellini and Bonucci out so that we can get Sterling in that space in and around them. He has got to be the key, because those two Italian defenders are absolutely brilliant.
“They will half fancy Kane in terms of the physicality element of it and Harry isn’t the quickest. So Harry will have to be clever on Sunday. Sterling, I’m sure, if he can just draw one or two of those defenders out, and get them out of their position by four or five yards… we saw the goal that Spain scored where Chiellini was drawn out by a one-two.
“I think Sterling will be absolutely key on Sunday.”