Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will give Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling a chance to prove they deserve to be part of his revolution.
The pair were heavily scrutinised following their performances for England at Euro 2016 this summer, with Hart making two costly mistakes in four games while Sterling was unable to have the influence that many expected of him.
In turn, both came under intense criticism, although Guardiola will choose to ignore that and give them an opportunity to prove their worth, according to The Sun.
While that is a welcome reprieve for the pair given that the Spaniard’s ambitious plans in the transfer market this summer could have seen them both replaced, they will still need to show their new coach that he is right to give them that chance.
“They were criticised when England lost,” he told the media. “But I don’t worry about the performance of Joe Hart in the Euros.
“It’s similar with Sterling. Last season, expectation was high and, OK, he didn’t play regularly and his confidence went down.
“It’s important to know what is their quality, to analyse their quality and to decide what we are going to do with him.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola also suggested that the fact that English players were so expensive meant that in order to build a homegrown core, he’d have to potentially look at the options at his disposal currently and work with what he has.
It is a strategy that he has used to good effect at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich previously, and he will hope that he has the pieces in place at the Etihad to ensure that it works again.
Nevertheless, it will come down to rebuilding both Hart and Sterling’s confidence, and getting them playing at a high level that they have proven previously that they are capable of.