In light of Raheem Sterling’s lack of game-time this season, Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he is shocked at the forward’s decline and believes that Pep Guardiola has made the wrong decision by benching him. The 26-year-old has only made two starts this season, scoring one goal so far.
While few will deny the impact that Raheem Sterling has had on Manchester City, the forward’s decline over the last few years has been stunning. The 26-year-old finished the 2019/20 season with 20 league goals but that figure dropped to half last term. Not only that, Sterling’s form half-way through the season dropped off a cliff which saw him benched for most of the second half of the term. Things haven’t changed for the 26-year-old with him making two starts across all competitions only.
Not only that, Sterling’s hit the net just once so far with fans and critics concerned at the performances the English international is putting up. It has seen Rio Ferdinand admit that he is “bafflied by” the 26-year-old’s decline and believes that he has lost confidence “because he’s been taken out of the team”. The Manchester United legend added that Pep Guardiola has made the wrong decision by benching the forward and believes that Sterling is still a coveted star.
"Where is Raheem Sterling? He’s lost confidence because he’s been taken out of the team. He was the go-to guy when they needed a goal, for so many years, and now all of a sudden he’s in the wilderness,” Ferdinand said on his FIVE Youtube channel.
“I’m baffled by it, I just don’t understand. With Pep, he gets things right more often than not, but with this one there must be clubs sitting there going ‘let’s see how this pans out because I would take Sterling all day! If I’m Liverpool, I’d buy Sterling tomorrow … If I’m him, I wouldn’t go to Barcelona or Real Madrid right now, that’s why I said Liverpool … Man United will take him!.”