Rio Ferdinand has criticised England manager Gareth Southgate for calling up the likes of Manchester City’s Jack Grealish and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford ahead of Chelsea‘s Raheem Sterling.
Both Grealish and Rashford have not been in the best of form this season and, speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said Sterling should feel extremely hard done by that he has been snubbed for international duty:
“Free Sterling. Free my guy Raheem Sterling I don’t know what he’s done, whose nose he has put out of join. I don’t know what’s happened. But for him to not be in the England squad is beyond me.”
“Listen, there’s a lot of talent don’t get me wrong, but if we’re talking form then he’s got more goals and assists or goal involvements than Rashford and Grealish put together. Has he been tried and tested at the top level? He was England’s best player at the Euros.”
Grealish’s form has also raised concerns among City fans
The 28-year-old has failed to score a single goal so far this campaign, despite making 13 appearances in all competitions.
There are some mitigating circumstances. Grealish suffered a hamstring injury back in September and manager Pep Guardiola has kept him on the bench more often than last season.
The form of new signing Jeremy Doku has also been a factor
The arrival of the Belgian from Rennes for £55.5m has also led to Grealish being demoted to bench duties. Since joining, Doku has looked extremely impressive, having got himself 5 goal contributions in 1 match against Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago.
While Grealish’s place in the England squad is not under threat yet, that could change before next summer’s European Championships if he can’t improve on the performances we have seen from him recently.