Pep Guardiola needs to put his arm around Raheem Sterling’s shoulder and will need the 26-year-old this season, says former Manchester City defender Michael Ball.
The £81m-rated England international was also often overlooked by Guardiola in the knockout phase of City’s Champions League campaign last season, while reports in the summer suggested that the club were willing to offload him in their pursuit of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Does Sterling have a future at City?
A difficult period in Sterling’s City career, Ball has now called for Guardiola to show the attacker some love, believing he will need him this term.
“He’s a guy I think Pep needs to call upon and put his arm around his shoulder to get the best out of him,” the retired full-back exclusively told TIF. “Yeah, he’d like to play. We know that.
“It’s a difficult squad to get in that starting XI, but I think if Pep puts his arm around his shoulder and does get the best out of him… because he’s going to need him for this long season ahead.”
Indeed, it is a long season ahead with City likely to compete on all fronts as they have done since Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad, so they are going to need Sterling and their whole attack.