Rio Ferdinand defends Sterling after leaving Chelsea

Rio Ferdinand has defended Raheem Sterling after being criticized for his £50million transfer to Chelsea this summer.

The winger became the first signing of the Todd Boley era on Wednesday afternoon, as the Blues aim to bridge the gap with Manchester City and Liverpool.

Ferdinand said in comments published by the British Daily Mail: “You know what goes on in my head when there’s a divided opinion about him (Sterling), I don’t understand.”

He added: “He was in the perfect squad in the Premier League last season, he was the best young player of the year, he did everything he could in the Manchester City shirt, the only thing he didn’t do was the win the Champions League.”

“But nobody in Manchester City did that, so that’s the way.”

Sterling has scored double figures in all competitions in all eight seasons he spent at City, including 31 goals in the 2019-20 season.

The striker helped Pep Guardiola’s side to four Premier League titles during his tenure at Manchester, but the England international has seen his influence on the team wane in recent years.

Read alsoCoulibaly passes medical examination at Chelsea

Sterling was on the bench in the two matches of the Champions League semi-finals that Real Madrid lost last season, while he also came on as a substitute in the final league game of the season against Aston Villa.

However, Ferdinand has few doubts about what the striker will bring to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

He continued: “We can talk about his skills, we can talk about his speed, we can talk about his goals and achievements, but was there an English player who achieved the success he achieved that is still up for debate?”

And he continued: “Under Pep Guardiola he had the most games and the second most goals, and yet you notice that there are people who say (he should score more, he doesn’t score enough), what do you mean? He already does.”