Jordan Henderson believes Raheem Sterling’s achievements would be more widely recognised if other players enjoyed his success.
Despite scoring 23 goals for Manchester City last season, Sterling continues to be England’s most scrutinised and harshly-judged player by some sections of the media.
He struggled to replicate that form during England’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and talk over potential changes to the starting XI ramped up on Thursday when Gareth Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland was seen clutching a team-sheet in training which appeared to indicate Sterling would be replaced in attack by Marcus Rashford.
Whether or not that switch, or Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s anticipated return in place of the injured Dele Alli, is already decided or merely being considered is unclear.
It does, though, place Sterling back in the spotlight having dealt with unwanted front page headlines prior to the tournament.
“I don’t think there should be any ‘noise’ around his performance the other night,” said Henderson of his former Liverpool team-mate.
“I would be surprised if that is the case, but it won’t bother him. He is used to the scrutiny now and I think he handles it all very well.
“He was phenomenal for Manchester City last season, scoring more than 20 goals, and I think everyone needs to get behind him if they are not.
“To score that many goals shows he is doing something right and if other players had the season he had I think we would be talking about it a lot more than we seem to do with Raheem.”