Raheem Sterling Warns Premier League Players Must Be Given Time to Train Ahead of Potential Return

Raheem Sterling
Manchester City v Crystal Palace - Premier League | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Raheem Sterling has said players will need a full four or five weeks of training to regain match fitness before the Premier League's mooted restart.

An initial date of 12 June was set for the return of England's top flight, though it remains to be seen whether or not that will be pushed back. Players are currently still unable to train with one another ahead of a key Premier League vote on Monday.

With the uncertainty surrounding the top flight's 'Project Restart' timeline, the Manchester City and England winger revealed more work needs to be done on the training pitch to ensure players are able to compete at the highest level.

Manchester City Training Session And Press Conference
Manchester City Training Session And Press Conference | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Sterling revealed in an interview with Megan Rapinoe on his YouTube channel: “You can’t come back in with one and a half weeks, two weeks.

"You’d need a full four to five weeks, especially if you’re going to go back into competition, when you’re literally paid to win. You do need to do that preparation - you can’t just go straight in."

Following the Bundesliga's restart alongside plans for Serie A to resume next month, the Premier League is holding meetings this week to discuss the continuation of English top flight football and Sterling has admitted he "can't wait to get back out there."

After over two months of lockdown, fitness levels have become a concern. Without the use of their state-of-the-art training facilities, Sterling revealed the measures the City fitness coaches are taking to keep their players sharp, adding: “We’ve had a lot of gym sessions on Zoom, we’ve had our programmes being sent over to us, so I’ve been trying my best to keep up with the plan."

A decision on group training is set to be made on Monday. If approval is given, Premier League players would be able to train in groups of five from Tuesday - so long as they adhere to the strict social distancing rules that would be put in place.

City will be looking to solidify second place come the restart and, as Sterling suggested, will want to give themselves the best opportunity to do so through adequate preparation.