Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has apparently been named as England captain for the League of Nations semi-final against The Netherlands.
The winger, who will win his 5oth cap on Thursday, says he woke up ‘fuming’ having heard that his management company had announced the news, and Sterling said the information had not come from him.
“I hadn’t had a conversation with anyone in my agency,” Sterling said. “I woke up this morning fuming. The first thing I did after I came off the phone to my agent was see Gareth [Southgate] down the hallway, and I apologised to him for what had happened. I don’t know where that’s come from.”
Southgate himself has not mentioned the captaincy, saying “Harry Kane is our captain. If Harry doesn’t play I have a decision to make. “At this moment in time, I’m not prepared to do that.”
If indeed Sterling does captain the national side, it will be an amazing turn around for the young winger. Just under twelve months ago, Sterling came under fire from all angles for his performances at the 2018 World Cup, and effectively became the national scapegoat as the Three Lions crashed out at the semi-final stage.
Throughout the first part of the season, Sterling continued to receive criticism in the media, and spoke out after suffering racist abuse during a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. Since then Sterling has been praised for speaking out and for his stance on racism, and was also named PFA Young Player of the Year and won the Writers Player of the Year.
What a difference a year makes.