With the World Cup fast approaching, the last thing that any England player will want to do is get into Gareth Southgate’s bad books.
According to The Sun, that’s exactly what Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has done after he reportedly turned up a day late to the England camp with issues over his flight schedule touted as the reason.
Southgate has already announced his final 23-man squad for the tournament in Russia, as seen in the tweet below, which kicks off on June 14, while England’s first game takes place on June 18 against Tunisia.
— England (@England) May 16, 2018
The 23-year-old is coming off the back of a very impressive season in which he scored 23 goals and provided 17 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions.
With the experience of winning the Premier League title and League Cup under his belt, coupled with the obvious improvements that Pep Guardiola has made to his game, the pacy winger could have a major role to play for England this summer in getting them deep into the tournament.
In turn, that’s arguably what makes this potential controversial talking point all the more disappointing as it has attracted unwanted attention and risks being an early distraction for the preparations ahead of flying out to Russia.
The Sun claim that Southgate was left far from impressed with Sterling, and so it remains to be seen how that affects his standing in the squad in the coming weeks.
Given the impact he has had this year, as outlined above, it would be a surprise if Southgate changes his plans. Nevertheless, it’s far from ideal and the England boss will undoubtedly be hoping for nothing similar to crop up between now and June 18.