Pep Guardiola conducted his first press conference as Manchester City manager on Friday afternoon and took questions on a variety of topics, including the group of players he’s inherited at the Etihad Stadium.
One of the high-profile squad members the media were particularly keen discuss was Raheem Sterling, who endured a frustrating debut campaign with the Citizens last season.
Guardiola was asked about the England international and the Catalan coach admitted the diminutive winger had a small problem that he was keen to rectify.
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“He has a problem with money they paid for him being in minds of the people but I am looking forward to working with him,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach was quoted as saying by the BBC’s Simon Stone.
Guardiola, judging by his comments, appears to believe that Sterling does have a future at Man City.
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Sterling has struggled for consistency at City
The 21-year-old was signed by former City boss Manuel Pellegrini for £49 million last summer after three impressive seasons at Liverpool.
And while he scored 11 goals in 47 matches for the Citizens last season, he struggled for consistency and failed to produce the same eye-catching performances that originally turned him into a household name at Anfield.
Sterling was also heavily criticised for his underwhelming displays for England at this summer’s European Championships.
Sky Sports reported that senior England players had even questioned Roy Hodgson’s decisions to play the out-of-form winger; although these rumours were later denied.
Sterling admits he went to City to win trophies
Sterling will be hoping that Guardiola can help him rediscover his form and confidence over the coming weeks and months.
The youngster, who was accused of being greedy following his decision to leave Liverpool for City, admitted back in March that he joined his current employers because of his desire to win silverware; it was not, contrary to popular belief, a decision based on money.
“Realistically, I am trying to improve as a player and that's the most important thing for me and for my development,” Sterling was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “I just did what I thought was best for my career at that moment in time.”
Will Raheem Sterling become a top-class winger under Pep Guardiola - or will he continue to struggle? Have your say by leaving a comment below.