Southgate backs Sterling to win PFA Player of the Year

Gareth Southgate has disagreed with Rio Ferdinand on Sterling’s chances to win the PFA player of the year this season.

Asked whether he agrees with Ferdinand’s comments, Southgate replied: “No, because I would imagine that the other main candidate would be Virgil van Dijk and last year Mo Salah won.

“So I don’t think that it would be as simple a situation as that really. I don’t think anybody will be looking at the candidates this year on anything other than the way they’ve played the game.

“I think that it’s been really pleasing that the narrative has changed around him and all credit for that goes to him.

“If you went back to post-World Cup and how he must have felt about some of the reaction to his performances.

“For us, he was always one of the first names on the team sheet and his contribution to the team was so important.

“The obvious thing was that he hadn’t scored the goals that he would have wanted. He’s managed to go back to Manchester City and everything on the pitch has brought the right level of attention.”

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