Gareth Southgate has admitted he has a ‘very good relationship’ with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.
Sterling fell out of contention at the Etihad last season – which increased tensions with Pep Guardiola – but, despite being limited to appearances from the bench, the Blues’ winger went on to deliver multiple excellent displays at the European Championship.
The 26-year-old emphatically rediscovered his best form for England at Euro 2020 and that has kick-started his career at City again.
Speaking at a press conference, though, Southgate has insisted he’s always kept the faith in Sterling despite Guardiola’s decision on the England star last season – an answer which one could perhaps perceive was actually aimed at the City boss.
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“I’ve got a very good relationship with him. He knows what we think of him, he’s very comfortable in our environment,” Southgate told reporters.
“Of course there’s incredible competition for places at Manchester City as well as here, but for us, he has just been consistently a player who has delivered in matches and we have had complete faith in him.
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“He has more than rewarded that faith in the goals he has scored. This summer he was outstanding. I do think he doesn’t really get the recognition he deserves. He often goes under the radar and almost seems to have to continually prove himself.
“I was asked about that in the summer, so let’s keep hoping he has to keep proving himself in the way he did again in Budapest.”