Rio Ferdinand 'doesn't understand' the criticism Raheem Sterling gets

Rio Ferdinand ‘doesn’t understand’ the criticism Chelsea’s £50m winger Raheem Sterling gets as he admits ‘it does his head in’ because England star delivered at Manchester City

  • Rio Ferdinand leapt to the defence of Raheem Sterling after recent criticism 
  • The winger has completed a £50million move from Manchester City to Chelsea
  • Sterling becomes the first signing of the new Todd Boehly era in west London
  • The forward is set to become a key figure for the Blues after Romelu Lukaku’s exit

Rio Ferdinand has defended Raheem Sterling following criticism over his £50million switch to Chelsea.

The winger became the first signing of the Todd Boehly era on Wednesday afternoon, as the Blues look to bridge the gap to the top two Manchester City and Liverpool.

Sterling was a key figure at the Etihad and former Manchester United defender Ferdinand was in disbelief that there were still question marks over Sterling’s ability.

Rio Ferdinand (R) has defended Raheem Sterling (L) following criticism over his £50m switch

Speaking on YouTube show FIVE, he said: ‘You know what it does my head in. When there’s a split opinion about him [Sterling] and I don’t understand it.

‘He’s been the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, PFA Team of the Year, he’s been Young Player of the Year, he’s done all he can in a Man City shirt, all he hasn’t done is win a Champions League. 

‘But no one at Man City’s done that so that’s just the way it is.’

Sterling netted double figures across all competitions in all eight seasons that he spent at City, including a career-high 31 goals in the 2019-20 campaign.

The forward helped Pep Guardiola’s side lift four Premier League titles during his stint in Manchester, yet the England international has seen his impact on the side wane in recent years.

The arrival of Jack Grealish and emergence of Phil Foden has seen opportunities for Sterling decrease across the last few seasons. 

Sterling was a substitute for City’s final Premier League game of the season last term

The winger has joined up with his Chelsea team-mates in Los Angeles following his move

Sterling was on the bench for both legs of the Champions League semi-final defeat by Real Madrid last season, while he was also a substitute for the final league game of the season against Aston Villa. 

However, Ferdinand has little doubts over what the forward will bring to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

He added: ‘We can talk about his skill, we can talk about his pace, we can talk about his goals, achievements, but has there been an English player that’s had the success he’s had and still been questioned?

‘Under Pep Guardiola he has the most appearances, he has the second-most amount of goals – let that sink in and marinate a little bit. “He should score more, he doesn’t score goals”, what do you mean? He goes and does it.’

Tuchel was keen to add to his attacking options following the loan departure of Romelu Lukaku, the Blues’ top scorer last season, to Inter Milan. 

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