Gareth Southgate reveals Raheem Sterling's reaction to being subbed at HT Vs Malta

Malta v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

Raheem Sterling is going through a strange time right now.

Despite essentially single-handedly gaining Manchester City four points in their last two Premier League games, his stock has fallen considerably recently.

Rumours circulated that he was being used as bait in City's pursuit of Alexis Sanchez and with Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and David Silva filling up the creative spots at the Etihad Stadium, he's far from guaranteed a start.

It was only two years ago he was worth £50 million and he was widely considered to be England's next great hope, what is he worth now?

The recent international break didn't serve him particularly well either. He started on the bench as England defeated Slovakia 2-1 at Wembley last Monday and was hauled off at half-time against minnows Malta just three days prior.

So how did he react to such an embarrassing substitution? Very well, according to England boss Gareth Southgate.

“His reaction to being taken off was brilliant,” said Southgate.

“I mean, it’s not easy for any player to be taken off at half time, but I think he understands that we have belief in him.

Malta v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

“I said after the game that he’s got a really tough mentality and he showed that. His response in training was really good.

“Again he’s another who is only two years older than Dele Alli, so he is another young player who is improving all the time.”

There is no doubt that Sterling's best years are ahead of him and whether he stays with City or moves on, he's going to be a mainstay of the England team for years to come.

AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City - Premier League

Many top players would have been embarrassed to have been subbed at half time and Sterling's ego could have easily taken a hit.

But, with the team's needs in mind, it's good to see the winger has dispelled a few unfounded notions about his attitude.

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