“He’s not been happy” – The player supposed to be Chelsea’s elite attacker has his struggles explained

Raheem Sterling has been left out of the England squad for the first time because of his form in a very very long time.

The winger has been a key player for the Three Lions for ten years, and still just 28, is supposed to have a lot left in the tank. But a horrible season personally as part of a catastrophe at Chelsea, as well as leaving the Manchester City protective sphere has meant a rapid tumble from Gareth Southgate’s plans.

The England coach tried to explain Sterling’s struggles with some quotes picked up by the Independent today:

“I will always back him to respond strongly and have the resilience and tenacity to prove himself.

“He said himself he’s not been happy with how it’s been but that will be a temporary thing.

“He really wasn’t in consideration. We didn’t get to the point of whether he should be in or out. He doesn’t think he’s operating on the level he needs.

“The dynamic is different from maybe two-to-three years ago. We had four or five players who were almost guaranteed to be in the team. Now we’ve got competition pretty much everywhere.

“But he has shown time and again for us that he has been an important player. His mental toughness stands out in why I would expect him to come up at a good level.”

“He’s an important part of our group and that remains the same. But he is in an area of the pitch where players are playing well for their clubs and playing well when they are playing for us.

It’s no wonder Sterling has been unhappy given what’s gone around him since he joined the club. Things have been off since before the day he arrived, and he’s barely had the chance to enjoy life at Chelsea, the damaging defeats and poor performances have come so thick and fast.

Let’s hope next season marks a new chapter.