Pep Guardiola hopes to see Manchester City supporters give Raheem Sterling a warm welcome upon his return to the Etihad Stadium. City are set to host Chelsea on Wednesday evening, November 9, in the Carabao Cup third round and the Blues talisman will be hoping to feature against his former side.
Sterling arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer for £47.5million, penning a five-year deal. The England international admitted that he was initially ‘fuming’ and ‘raging’ with the treatment he received at City prior to his exit, having entered the final 12 months of his deal . But, despite the sour end to Sterling’s time at the club, Guardiola is hoping that the winger receives a good reception from City fans.
The Chelsea winger was one of several players who left the club in the summer for pastures new, including Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko who joined Arsenal. Speaking to the press ahead of the clash with Graham Potter’s side, the Spaniard said:
“My gratitude to all of them, these guys especially, is immense. What they have done for this Club, it’s just ‘hats off’. “Thank you so much and I wish him all the best and hopefully he’s happy there,” added Guardiola before he was asked whether he thinks Sterling will receive a warm welcome upon his return. “I definitely hope so.
“I always like the clubs when they welcome the guys who have been here many years and have been a key figure and had an important role in our team in all these years. Maybe you forget what happened in the last month, that is not the reality of what happened over a period of six, seven years when he was here.
“He deserves it of course and he’s more than welcome [back]. When the game starts, we want to beat them, but of course he has to get a good reception. Everyone in England appreciates that.”
Guardiola was then quizzed on his relationship with Sterling. The City boss said:
“We worked for six years every day together, working and playing a lot, a lot of games. Maybe the most important game we played is the final of the Champions League and he was there. If he is happy we are happy.”
Sterling has featured 18 times for Chelsea this season, directly contributing towards seven goals . While he’s struggled for form lately, the forward has shown great promise and he’ll be eager to mark his return to City with a good performance.