Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden hailed Raheem Sterling’s example as a “role model” for the 19-year-old, who hopes to earn more playing time for the Premier League champions this season.
Foden made his first start of the campaign in City’s 3-0 League Cup victory at Preston on Tuesday, when Sterling returned after being rested in an 8-0 hammering of Watford last weekend to score the opening goal.
“Every time I watch him, I think ‘wow’ and (he’s) a better player every time I see him,” said Foden.
“He has got a lot more to come and that is what is good about him, he is still young and improving and wanting to improve. He has high standards and that is the level he has set.
“He is a role model and he helps me out a lot, in the game and in training, and overall – helping me with my game, giving me tips and that is what a young lad needs coming through.”
City boss Pep Guardiola was also fulsome in his praise for Sterling’s determination to improve.
“I assure you something, in two or three years Raheem will be a better player than now because I know his work ethic,” said Guardiola.
“Last game (he) didn’t play, (he) came here and played with this incredible humility and go out there and play with this incredible level.”
Foden had been expected to make more of an impact on the first team this term after making 26 appearances as City won a domestic treble last season.
However, the England under-21 international has seen his path blocked by an array of midfield stars like David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and new signing Rodrigo.
“I am just looking forward,” said Foden. “I am just trying to take my minutes any time they come and do my best. Any time I get game time is important. I just try and enjoy it.
“It is my boyhood club and a dream to play for this club, so any time I put the shirt on I just enjoy it to the max.”