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Peter Crouch defends Sterling criticism

Former England striker Peter Crouch has slammed the criticism that Raheem Sterling has faced during this summer’s World Cup, saying that the forward has been undervalued for his country.

Sterling has played in almost every game for the Three Lions this summer, but has faced strong criticism for his apparent poor performances throughout.

The City forward hasn’t scored for his country for over 1000 days, and missed a glorious opportunity to put England 2-0 up against Sweden on Saturday – missing a one on one with the goalkeeper.

However, despite all the negativity surrounding the 23-year-old, Stoke City striker Peter Crouch has jumped to the defence of Sterling, who he says gives England ‘so much’.

Writing on his column for the Daily Mail, Crouch said: “Raheem would be the first player to tell you his end product needs to improve for England, with his only goals so far coming against Lithuania and Estonia.

“Some of the criticism I’ve heard come his way, though, has left me bemused. Have people not been following his career and his ambition to get better?

“People have become fixated about his finishing at the World Cup but it is crucial to look at the bigger picture — Raheem gives us so much. He is quick, skilful and determined, always provides a threat and Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli all benefit from the space he creates.

“He is very much part of the reason I believe Football’s Coming Home and I can’t get over what an amazing opportunity we have. I’m a fan of Croatia and have expressed my admiration for them on these pages but they are beatable.

“Everything about this England team feels right and they are embracing the occasion.”