Gareth Southgate praises Raheem Sterling after his maiden England hat-trick

England manager Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on Raheem Sterling, who was the star performer during the country’s 5-0 rout of the Czech Republic in the opening game of their Euro 2020 qualification. The attacker has looked lively for club and country over the course of the campaign and he continued his good run of form with a stunning hat-trick at the Wembley Stadium.

Speaking after the game, Southgate hailed the performance of the Manchester City star, who has begun realising his potential with the national team after a few years of struggle, he said: "I thought Raheem was electric all night. He has looked like that all week in training. I'm pleased for him, it is a special night for him. I think Raheem has really matured as a person and a footballer. He's hungry for goals and hitting things instinctively without thinking too much."

Sterling’s performance at the summer World Cup generated criticism from some supporters after he was constantly picked ahead of Marcus Rashford for the starting role despite failing to find the scoresheet. However, he managed to answer the critics shortly after with a match-winning brace against Spain in the Nations League, and this ended a three-year droughtwithout scoring for the Three Lions.

At present, “Sterling has transformed into the go-to man in the England attack with influential captain Harry Kane becoming more renowned as the distributor for his compatriot. Nonetheless, Sterling needs to showcase a high level of performance on a consistent basis and that remains the only drawback at the “current point of time.

Sterling was substituted shortly after bagging the treble in the 68th minute and he could feature against Montenegro from the off on Monday night. Alongside Sterling and Kane, young attacker Jadon Sancho celebrated his maiden competitive start with an assist and the teenager could retain his position for the forthcoming trip.