Jamaican-born winger Raheem Sterling has endured a terrible season at Chelsea which has seen him score just six goals.
Beset by injuries, played in different positions, his form has fallen since he left Manchester City.
He had to prematurely return from the World Cup due to his home being robbed.
The year 2023 is one he would sooner forget.
Now comes news that England manager Gareth Southgate has told him he is not part of his plans for the upcoming Euro qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
Sterling must now rest, recover and get in fighting form to take on the upcoming season.
A statement on his England position read: “ Following a private conversation between coach and player, a mutual decision has been made for Raheem Sterling to sit out the upcoming internationals, focusing instead on recuperating his body in preparation for the upcoming season.”
Sterling has been the go-to man for Southgate and he played well during the Euro 21 campaign. Since joining Chelsea he has lost his way and needs to make his impression felt.
Southgate explained: “I spoke with him a week or so ago. A general catch-up. He is not happy with his condition physically, carrying a hamstring problem. He wasn’t really in consideration. He doesn’t think he is operating at the level he needs.”
It now looks like Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eye will take his England spot for the upcoming games.
Recognised as one of the senior players in the England squad, 28-year-old Sterling must use the time to recover and bounce back.
With 82 England caps, Raheem will be back.