Ian Wright has shared what he finds baffling about Raheem Sterling as he insisted that he would pick the Chelsea forward in his England lineup for Euro 2024.
Wright was speaking on Stick to Football as the panel were tasked with picking their starting XI for next summer’s tournament, which sees the Three Lions initially face Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia.
Raheem Sterling has not featured for his country since England were knocked out of the World Cup a year ago. Of course, in that time, it has not been the easiest period for Chelsea.
Ian Wright baffled by Raheem Sterling absence from England fold
However, the 29-year-old has performed reasonably well, scoring 15 goals and contributing seven assists in all competitions. This season, he has six goals and three assists in 17 games.
Nevertheless, he appears to be out of favour with Gareth Southgate. And there now appears to be a major question mark over whether he will get to add to his 82 caps while Southgate remains in charge.
That obviously throws real doubt over his chances of making the squad for Euro 2024. But Ian Wright not only believes that Sterling should be in the squad, but he should be starting ahead of some significant names.
“I’d bring Sterling back,” Wright responded on Stick to Football when asked who should play on the left of the attack.
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“Surely, he’s got even credit in the bank with Gareth when he’s played for England.
“So you’d think even if that was the case, surely you’re going to understand from Gareth’s point of view, ‘you know what, he’s an experienced player, he’s never let me down, he just wants to focus on the Chelsea move, massive move’. He’s starting to see some green shoots with him at Chelsea. But why would you hold that against him? I find it’s baffling he’s not in there.
“Yeah, with the experience and the way he’s playing, absolutely yeah,” he added, when asked if he would pick him ahead of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden.
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Sterling has generally been a superb performer for England, as Wright notes. And he has been one of Chelsea’s better players in what is threatening to be another disappointing season at Stamford Bridge.
It is also remarkable to think that he only turned 29 this week. He has been a Premier League mainstay for more than a decade. And this will be the first year since 2013 where Sterling has not made a single appearance for his country.
It is surprising that Sterling seems to find himself completely out of the picture, even if England look very strong in the final third right now.
Certainly, Wright believes that Southgate should definitely find a place for him.