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Glen Johnson on Raheem Sterling’s future: “I don't believe he needs to think about moving”

Glen Jonson believes that Raheem Sterling shouldn't be looking for a move away from Manchester City
Glen Jonson believes that Raheem Sterling shouldn't be looking for a move away from Manchester City

Raheem Sterling’s days as a Manchester City player could be numbered, if the winger’s lack of playtime over the past few months is anything to go by. In late August, when speculation was rife regarding Cristiano Ronaldo joining Manchester City, the rumours suggested that Raheem Sterling was one of the players being considered for an exit in aid of making space in the club’s squad for the Portuguese superstar. Of course, Ronaldo’s move to the Etihad never came to fruition, but rumours linking Sterling with a move away from Manchester remain. 

BettingOdds.com caught up with Sterling’s former teammate at club and international level, Glen Johnson, who believes that the former Liverpool winger shouldn’t be considering a move away from Manchester City at this moment in time. 

We also spoke to the former Chelsea and Liverpool right-back regarding Leeds United’s Raphinha, whether Declan Rice could be priced out of a move away from West Ham and his prediction for the winner of this season’s Champions League. 

Your former teammate Raheem Sterling didn’t start the game against Liverpool last weekend and only came on as a substitute for Jack Grealish. Sterling’s down the pecking order in this City squad at the moment. After seven seasons at Manchester City is the time right for the 26-year-old to move on, and where do you think would suit him?

“No, I don't believe he needs to think about moving at the minute. Last season we were speaking about him as one of the best players in the world and then he went off and had a fantastic Euros, so after a couple of quiet months you can’t just go and expect him to leave. 

“The thing with Raheem is that he’s a confidence player and when he’s not starting games and things aren’t going his way then his performances suffer. He’s one of these players who builds off momentum and if he’s scoring then he will continue to keep scoring. That’s why I believe he’s not a great substitute to bring on because when he starts a game, then you see him perform at his best. Being picked to start by the manager gives him confidence and he tends to go a bit quiet when he doesn’t have an arm around him.”

It’s rumoured that Liverpool could go head to head with Barcelona next summer for Leeds United winger Raphinha. Would you like to see him at Anfield?

“I like him. I’m a big fan. The style of football that Leeds play suits him, he has the shackles off and he’s technically great. If he did sign for Liverpool then I wouldn’t expect him to demand a place in their starting eleven, but he would certainly be one of those players on the fringe and would definitely strengthen the squad. He’s the sort of player that would suit Liverpool’s style of play too, so if the money was right then I’m sure he would be high on their list of targets.”

 

Premier League odds

Your former clubs Chelea and Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Juventus and Italy winger Federico Chiesa. After seeing him in the Euros in the summer and the Champions League this season, do you believe he would be a strong addition to the Premier League?

“I’m a fan. I didn’t know too much about him before the Euros but he’s a quick winger, hard-working and looks like he’s got the attributes to suit the Premier League. 

“Whether Chelsea is the right fit, I’m not sure. I don’t think they need him. If they could get him, they would, but I don’t think they need to. But I believe he’s the sort of player that, when he needs to, would perform in a way that would suit the Premier League.”

 

Tammy Abraham has made an impressive start to life in Serie A. Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and David Luiz are all examples of players who Chelsea have re-signed previously. Do you believe there’s a possibility in the future that your former club could end up signing Abraham back if he continues to flourish in Rome? Do you believe he has unfinished business in the Premier League?

 

“He’s scoring goals, enjoying his football again and he’s got a lot to offer. And naturally all the big teams are going to want strikers who are scoring goals. 

“Chelsea have shown in the past that they’re not embarrassed to sign somebody back for a lot more money than they sold them for. If he continues to score goals then I think yeah they would be interested. Strikers are hard to come by, aren’t they? 

“As a young Englishman, we’re all brought up to want to play in the Premier League, so I’m sure he’ll want to come back one day to settle some scores.”

“I can also see him being part of the England set-up at Qatar 2022. He’s got age on his side. He’s a big physical lad, and for me he’s decent in front of goal as well. If he continues to score goals then he’s going to be hard to look past isn’t he?”

 

Today's Football Tips

Manchester United have reportedly cooled their interest in Declan Rice after West Ham placed a £90 million price tag on his head. Do you believe the club are entitled to price him out of a future move and if it became an issue could you see Rice pushing for a move next summer or do you believe he will remain respectful towards the club and not force it?

“From West Ham’s point of view, they’re entitled to try and achieve as much as they can as they’ve seen other players leave for similar reasons. I think they’re within their rights to try and get the market value for him. 

“Everyone knows I love West Ham. If he wants to go and win Premier Leagues and potentially Champions Leagues and things like that then of course that’s not going to happen at West Ham, so I think there'll be a point when the player and the club are happy. It’s all tactics anyway. But if they got offered £65m or £70m, I’m sure they’ll be interested. 

“They’ll obviously have a conversation, but he’s West Ham through and through. He’s not going to walk out the door on bad terms, so hopefully the player can get what he wants, and the club can get what they want.”

 

And with the Champions League returning next week, who are you now backing to win the competition?

“I think it’s going to be one of our three big boys, either Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City. 

“In the second half of the Liverpool and Manchester City match at Anfield, they looked like two of the best teams around for me at the moment. We all know what this league’s like. If they all get it right on the day then they’re hard to stop. 

“With the Champions League, you don’t have to be the best team in the tournament. You’ve just got to get through each round.

“If you’ve got a gun to my head, I’d probably back Manchester City.”

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