Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling sends message to Pep Guardiola with impressive England performance

Tom Gott
Sterling was excellent against Hungary
Sterling was excellent against Hungary / ATTILA KISBENEDEK/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola's decision to spend £100m on Jack Grealish was a clear message to Raheem Sterling. He wants more.

Had the Manchester City boss been watching England's 4-0 win over Hungary on Thursday, he'd have seen exactly the kind of response he wanted.

Shifted out on to the right to make space for £100m-man Grealish on the other side of the pitch, Sterling struggled to adapt to his position change initially, but once he found his groove, he never looked back.

He led the flurry of goals in the second half, kicking things off with a composed finish from a Mason Mount cross, before setting up the man who could have been his team-mate at club level, Harry Kane, for England's second of the night.

It was that influx of energy that really got England going. Sterling's impact was infectious and he dragged Grealish and Mount up to his level in the second half, buzzing around Hungary's defence and causing real problems for anyone unfortunate enough to try mark him.

The talent was clear to see, but the resilience and mental strength was perhaps more impressive. As Sterling celebrated his goal, he was pelted by cups from the Hungarian fans, and unfortunately, he was targeted by monkey chants later in the game.

Depressingly, it's something that Sterling has dealt with so often. He has managed to block it out and even looked to be using it as fuel, letting his football do the talking in front of the idiots who haven't learned basic human decency.

It was an excellent, all-round showing from Sterling, whose goal record for England is starting to get a bit mental. He's got ten in his last 11 qualifiers and 16 in his last 24 appearances for his country.

It's now up to Sterling to convince Guardiola that his talent is still there. The Englishman hasn't started for City since the opening weekend of the season - a trend we saw last year which led to plenty of transfer rumours over the past few weeks.

The City boss will have taken notice of this. He has to have. Opportunities at club level must be coming soon.