Rio Ferdinand has recommended Raheem Sterling consider retiring from international duty.
The Chelsea winger, who has represented England on 82 occasions, was left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest squad to play in upcoming EURO qualifiers against the Ukraine and Scotland.
And Ferdinand believes Southgate’s latest squad announcement, which saw the likes of Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips included despite failing to play a single minute for their domestic clubs, should prompt Sterling to call time on his international career.
“If I was Sterling, I’d be very disappointed bearing in mind what he’s done for this England team when he’s been in or around it,” said Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.
“If you’re going by the yard stick that Gareth’s using with the likes of Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips. Why is it all right for them guys to get in and not him?
“Sterling’s probably been the main bright spark at Chelsea. It’s just nuts. I’d retire. If I’m someone like Ward-Prowse I’d just retire. Say, ‘Listen, don’t pick me no more. There’s no point. It’s disrespectful what you’re doing’.
It is to people like him, especially Ward-Prowse who’s been putting up numbers for his team on a regular basis. What more does a man got to do to get a sniff?”
It is hard to argue with the former Manchester United centre-back. He raises a good question – if two out of favour players are still in Southgate’s plans, why is Sterling not?
Not only has the former Man City winger been decent for his country when called upon, but starting the new 2023-24 season well, including netting a brace against Luton Town last month, Chelsea’s number seven is arguably one of the Premier League’s most in form forwards, and yet he will not play a single minute for England in their upcoming fixtures.