Whenever you see training imagery of Raheem Sterling from our Cobham base, he tends to be pictured with a wide smile on his face. That, according to Mauricio Pochettino, is one of the reasons for the fine start to the season the winger has made.

Pochettino is delighted with the impact of his No.7, with the England international particularly impressing against Luton where he netted twice and assisted Nicolas Jackson in a 3-0 win.

Not only is Sterling delighting his head coach on the pitch, but his professionalism off the pitch – particularly around the younger players in the squad – is something that has been noted by Pochettino and, according to the head coach, is helping to maintain the positive spirit at Cobham.

Chelsea travel to Bournemouth today, with the game kicking off at 2pm, for our first fixture after the international break and Pochettino hopes to see another sharp Sterling performance to ensure the smile remains on his face.

‘I’m so happy for Raheem because I see him smiling every day,’ Pochettino said of the England international. ‘It’s very clear that he is very happy right now, and that is very important.

‘For us, it’s clear that we always want our players to feel happy and comfortable in their environment. Also, Raheem is an experienced player, a key player, and someone that can help guide the younger guys in the squad.

‘He has started the season very well. He is scoring goals, he’s making assists and he is helping the team. This is much better for us but also for him, because when you are playing well you are very happy in your work.

‘I’m so happy with Raheem’s performances but even in the last few weeks, the way he behaves is so impressive. He works hard every single day and other players can pick up on that and learn from his standards I think.

‘You can feel that he’s really fit right now and ready to compete in every game, to ensure he keeps his level and continue to improve.’

Sterling was somewhat of a surprise omission from the most recent England squad, with Gareth Southgate overlooking the winger for the games against Ukraine and Scotland despite his fine start to the season with Chelsea.

While Pochettino prefers to focus solely on the Blues, our head coach believes it won’t be long before Raheem returns to the international fold if he continues his impressive form at club level.

‘He’s so motivated to perform well here and help us here at Chelsea,’ added the head coach.

‘Maybe it was a little surprise to see him not picked by England but if he continues to work hard and perform well for his club, then I’m sure the coach will see that and recall him to the national side.

‘I repeat, we are so happy with Raheem and the way he is performing for us right now.’