Raheem Sterling: Rio Ferdinand defends Chelsea’s £50m winger

Rio Ferdinand ‘doesn’t understand’ criticism Chelsea’s £50m winger Raheem Sterling is receiving as he admits ‘it pisses him off’ because England star delivered to Manchester City

  • Rio Ferdinand has come to the defense of Raheem Sterling after recent criticism
  • The winger completed a £50m move from Manchester City to Chelsea
  • Sterling becomes first signing of new Todd Boehly era in west London
  • The striker 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 £50m move to Chelsea.

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

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

Rio Ferdinand came to Sterling's defense following criticism over his ability

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

Speaking on the YouTube show FIVEhe said, ‘You know what that does to my head. When there is a divided opinion about him [Sterling] and I don’t understand it.

“He was the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, the PFA Team of the Year, he was the Young Player of the Year, he did everything he could in a Man City shirt. , all he hasn’t done is win a Champions League.

“But no one at Man City has done that, so that’s how it is.”

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

The striker helped Pep Guardiola’s side win four Premier League titles during his spell at Manchester, but the England international has seen his impact on the team diminish in recent years.

The arrival of Jack Grealish and the emergence of Phil Foden have seen opportunities for Sterling dwindle in recent seasons.

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

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

The winger joined his Chelsea teammates in Los Angeles after his move

The winger joined his Chelsea teammates in Los Angeles after his move

Sterling was on the bench for both matches in the Champions League semi-final loss to Real Madrid last season, while also coming on as a substitute for the final league game of the season against Aston Villa.

However, Ferdinand has few doubts what the striker will bring alongside Thomas Tuchel.

He added: “We can talk about his skills, we can talk about his pace, we can talk about his goals, his achievements, but has there been an English player who has had the success he has had and who was questioned again?”

“Under Pep Guardiola he has the most appearances, he has the second most goals – let that sink in and marinate a bit. ‘He should score more, he doesn’t score goals’, what is it? 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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