Former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has taken a swipe at former blues winger Raheem Sterling, after the England man completed his move to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The Argentine, who spent nine years in Manchester after joining from Espanyol, was a firm favourite with the faithful during his time at the Etihad Stadium. However, Zabba doesn’t think that Sterling will be remembered as a legend at City, in the same way Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany are.
“When I say legend, I think of Aguero, Silva and Kompany,” Zabba explained. “Those guys are a different level. That’s why they have a statue outside the club. But Raheem has been great. He went to a team that is a big contender for the Premier League.”
But it appears Zabba may have taken exception to a video that recorded Sterling refusing to sign a City shirt during Chelsea’s recent pre-season training. “The moment you leave you always need to talk nicely to the club you’ve been playing for. I wish he could behave in that way. When you come up to this club you have to give 100% respect.”
The winger wrote an emotional letter to the club and fans following his departure, but the refusal to sign the shirt looks to indicate some possible animosity towards the club.
Sterling’s form dipped considerably last season, and rumours were rife of a rift between him and manager Pep Guardiola, which resulted in reduced game time for the former Liverpool man. However, he did come off the bench in the final match of last season to set up City’s remarkable comeback and claim a second consecutive Premier League title.