What 21-year-old Englishman would pass up the big wages and UEFA Champions League promises of a move to Manchester City?
Jack Rodwell knows the allure well, having move to City in 2012. After a disappointing spell with the Citizens, Rodwell is warning young English players thinking of joining the super club.
Rodwell, 23, will ply his trade for Sunderland this year after the Black Cats rescued him from City for a mere $17 million. And while some tipped his relative failures due to injuries, the former Everton man said his Toffee success didn’t continue for different reasons.
“I would weigh up your options and ask yourself if you want to be playing regularly,” Rodwell said.
“I would probably say, ‘don’t sign now; get as much football as you can’.”
“Last season, over the course of the whole season, I was injured for about three weeks. I was fit and available for 47 of the 57 games.
“That might surprise quite a lot of people because they probably didn’t see my name on the team sheet and just assumed I must be injured.
“I’ve been fit for a year-and-a-half now. I’m just ready to go.”
Surely the warning doesn’t just apply to City — nor just young English players — but it’s a point well-taken enough. Scott Sinclair and Adam Johnson have had or are having trouble breaking through the side as well. Rodwell wasn’t spewing sour grapes, admitting that being young and English isn’t a barrier at City, but saying the grass isn’t always greener.
Sunderland opens its Premier League campaign at West Bromwich Albion on Aug. 16.