Scottish Daily Mail

Mebude’s Sterling effort paid off on Scotland debut


MANCHESTER CITY’S Dire Mebude has revealed how his mentor Raheem Sterling helped him destroy bitter rivals Manchester United — then got his Scotland Under-21s career off to a flier. The former Rangers youngster took just nine minutes to score a fantastic goal on his debut for Scot Gemmill’s side in the 3-2 defeat to Sweden in Spain on Thursday. It capped an incredible week for the 18-year-old after his four assists helped City thrashed United 6-0 in a youth league meeting last Sunday. Mebude (right) has been training with Pep Guardiola’s first team since arriving from Rangers two years ago. And he revealed how he was being personally tutored by Sterling before the England internatio­nal made his £47.5million summer move from City to Chelsea. The teenager said of his Scotland goal: ‘I took the ball on the inside, beat a few players, then the ball was bouncing, so I just hit it. It was a great goal and a great moment for me. It was on my debut as well so it felt special. ‘It’s also going well so far this season at City. I’m getting regular game time and I’m happy playing with the 21s. It’s really challengin­g, but good. ‘It’s always good to beat United 6-0. I got four assists, so it was a very good game. ‘I really like Raheem Sterling. He was my man. I wanted to learn off him. And there’s also been Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez. Top players. ‘I’ve trained with them a few times. They’re out of this world. It’s surreal training with them. ‘Sterling gave me a few tips and showed me how it’s done. He was a young boy coming through at one time too but he probably excelled a bit quicker than me. He’s been through it all. He showed me parts of his game he needed to improve and where he thought I could improve. It was really good to have that. ‘The management do see us, they come and watch the game, so it’s always good to perform in front of them and show what you’re about. ‘I’ve not had any direct dealings with Pep Guardiola as yet, but hopefully I will soon. I hope he watched the game. He’s a good guy and a great coach.’ London-born Mebude, whose family moved to Scotland in 2011, is following in the footsteps of brother Dapo. He was also at Rangers and is now at Belgian club Oostende, having won three Scotland Under-21s caps. Dire admitted there was no way he could turn down City when they moved for him. ‘It was a big decision to move down. I was a bit young, I was 16,’ he explained. ‘But, when Man City come calling, you can’t really turn it down. ‘Everything at Rangers was really good and I loved it just as much. ‘I’ve been to watch a few Rangers games since leaving, and watch (the B team) in the Lowland League online. It’s enjoyable and they’re doing well. ‘My older brother told me all about the 21s and I’ve watched him play a few times for them, so I was just happy to play my part as well. ‘He did well when he played and I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps.’

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