Raheem Sterling 'developing into outstanding role model', says Gareth Southgate

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has been capped 47 times since making his England debut in 2012

Raheem Sterling is "developing into an outstanding role model" says England manager Gareth Southgate.

The England and Manchester City forward suffered alleged racial abuse from Chelsea fans during a Premier League match in December.

Sterling later wrote about newspapers "helping to fuel racism" through their portrayals of young black footballers.

"I'm so impressed by his maturity and the way he has spoken out on important subjects," said Southgate on Wednesday.

Sterling, who has 47 England caps, has been named in the squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro in March.

He wrote a letter to a City in fan in January telling him to "be proud of who you are" after the youngster was racially abused.

"It shows huge social conscience and he really is developing into an outstanding role model for people to follow," Southgate added.

"He's having another outstanding season and he's risen to every challenge."

Sterling has scored 15 goals in 23 appearances for Manchester City this season.

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand said on Tuesday that the 24-year-old does not get the credit he deserves because he is black.

"I think he's alluded to it, that he's judged maybe on the colour of his skin sometimes. I don't think that's too far from the truth," Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"Not only on the pitch is he maturing - off the pitch, how he's carrying himself and conducting himself is a testament to him

"I think other young players of all cultures can take a note from what he's doing."