Aguero questions ‘strange’ Sterling
Erling Haaland will need time to adjust to the Premier League, according to Sergio Aguero, who also questions why Manchester City traded Raheem Sterling to Chelsea.
The England international followed fellow forward Gabriel Jesus out the exit door and to London, where the latter had joined Arsenal along with Oleksandr Zinchenko, when City sold Sterling to Chelsea for perhaps about £45 million last month.
Sterling scored 17 goals in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s team last season, a tally only bettered by Riyad Mahrez (24) and Kevin De Bruyne (19), as they conducted a successful defence of their title, but wanted guaranteed game time that City were unable to offer.
That, in part, was due to the signing of Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, while Julian Alavrez has also arrived to bolster a prolific frontline that features Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Mahrez.
Yet Sterling’s former team-mate and City’s record goalscorer Aguero was confused by the decision to sell the 27-year-old to a Premier League rival.
“I don’t understand the sale of Sterling,” said Aguero on his Twitch channel.
“There are times they [City] make strange decisions.”
Haaland struggled on his competitive City debut, cutting a frustrated figure as Pep Guardiola’s team went down 3-1 to Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday.
The Norway international only managed three touches in the opening 30 minutes, all of which came in his own half, and he missed the best chance of the game from open play, according to Opta’s expected goals model, when he struck the crossbar from six yards out deep in stoppage time.
“He was too used to Germany,” Aguero said of the 22-year-old’s performance.
“Haaland thought he was alone, then [Virgil] van Dijk arrived and said ‘welcome to the Premier League’.”
Alvarez did, however, make an impression. He came off the bench to give City’s attack a new dimension, and he tied the game when he bundled in from close range after a goalmouth melee.
When questioned about the counsel he gave to his countryman when Alvarez joined City, Aguero cracked: “Julian messaged me to ask how things are going in Manchester. I warned him that he would be really cold!”
On Sunday, City begin their Premier League campaign away at West Ham, while Sterling is poised to make his competitive debut for Chelsea the day before against Everton.