Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. Wants to Follow Raheem Sterling's Goalscoring Example

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2020

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 06: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Vinicius Jr. of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring a goal which is later disallowed following a VAR check during the Copa del Rey match between Real Madrid and Real Sociedad at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 06, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of Manchester City star Raheem Sterling by adding more goals to his game.

The Brazilian arrived at Madrid in the summer of 2018, and he was able to break into the Los Blancos senior side last season. This term, he's been called upon frequently by manager Zinedine Zidane, making 23 appearances in all competitions and scoring three goals.

Although he still has a lot of developing to do, the 19-year-old will want to be more productive in the final third.

The winger said he wants to emulate Sterling, who has added a goalscoring edge to his play at the Etihad Stadium, per Esporte Interativo (h/t Peter Lynch of Goal):

"When I played in the youth categories, I was used to scoring a lot of goals, but in professional football, I'm playing further from the goal and it’s harder to score. But I am only 19 years old, I'm getting better.

"Karim [Benzema] and all the players who are always scoring try to help. When I start to score, I'll score a lot of goals, just like every winger here. 

"Sterling for me is an example. At my age, he played just like me and didn't score too many goals, and this season he has already scored a lot. Last season, he scored even more."

Premier Sports provided an example of what the winger is capable of producing when he gets into the final third:

Vinicius has not yet been able to establish himself as a bonafide starter at the Santiago Bernabeu. There's no doubt that chipping in with goals would improve his chances under Zidane.

Spanish football writer Euan McTear said the youngster put in a brilliant performance in the 4-3 loss to Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey quarter-final and added he's been unfortunate in his bid to convert more chances at times, too:

Vinicius has still been able to make a big impact in high-profile games. Coming off the bench in the derby with Atletico Madrid on February 1, he was able to help Los Blancos unpick the opposition defence:

Although Sterling is on a poor run in front of goal—the 25-year-old hasn't netted in his last seven outings—his prolific performances helped City win the title in the previous two seasons, in which he netted a combined 35 goals.

Vinicius has all the attributes needed to become that kind of influential winger, and time is still on his side. With the likes of Isco, Gareth Bale and Rodrygo Goes competing for minutes in the wide positions, it's crucial the Brazilian adds another facet to his game.

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