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Football Reporting


Rio Ferdinand “baffled” by Pep Guardiola’s treatment of Raheem Sterling

Manchester City have a wealth of options at their disposal that Pep Guardiola can call upon but Raheem Sterling has been left out on numerous occasions by the Catalan

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Pep Guardiola post match Southampton

Rio Ferdinand has been left baffled by Pep Guardiola’s treatment of Raheem Sterling this season at Manchester City.

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The England international has been the main man for Gareth Southgate on international duty.

But it is a different story for his club where the former Liverpool star has been deployed in a number of positions.

Guardiola has used him as a right-winger, left-winger, a shadow striker and a centre-forward – the latter being his most recent outing when City drew 0-0 with Southampton.

Sterling has scored just once so far this season – in a 5-0 win over Norwich – but he has started just twice in the league so far.

Raheem Sterling has had a tough time recently
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Michael Regan/Getty Images)

And former Manchester United star Ferdinand reckons that the lack of belief in him from Guardiola has affected his confidence.

“It’s only because he’s been taken out of the team that he’s lost confidence,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five show.

“He was on fire. He was producing.

“This guy was the go-to guy when they needed a goal for so many years. All of a sudden, he’s in the wilderness. I’m just baffled by it; I don’t understand it.

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Should Sterling leave Man City in January? Comment below

“But this is the thing with Pep [Guardiola], he gets it right more often than not, but with this one with Sterling… there must be clubs sitting there going, ‘boy, let me see how this situation pans out because I will take Sterling all day.

“If I’m Liverpool, I’m buying Sterling tomorrow.”

Speculation has grown over a potential move in January, even on a temporary basis until the end of the season.

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Raheem Sterling is reportedly weighing up his options


AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid have been linked before but whether that interest remains is another matter.

Nevertheless, Guardiola insisted that Sterling was a key performer against Southampton despite his lack of success in front of goal.

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He said: “He was so active in terms of movement, but football depends a lot on how good we do the process in build up and when it happens our strikers and wingers play better.

“And our attacking midfielders play better and today we struggled a bit and that is why he didn’t get many balls but he was always dangerous and ready to try to do it.”

City face Wycombe next in the Carabao Cup and Guardiola is expected to make a number of changes for the tie.

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