Raheem Sterling has made an honest admission over his form at Manchester City amid an ongoing scramble for regular minutes under Pep Guardiola, conceding "this season for me personally has been a very weird one".
Sterling has played a vital role in City's domestic success over the past five years, helping them win back-to-back titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19 while taking his tally of goals for the club to 113 across all competitions.
However, the 26-year-old has seen his role reduced slightly this term, with Guardiola having been forced to rotate his squad more often than usual due to the congested fixture schedule caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
What's been said?
Sterling has struggled for consistency throughout the campaign as he's been drafted in and out of City's starting XI, and has opened up on his frustration ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
"Don’t get me wrong, this season for me personally has been a very weird one," the England international said during a sit down with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport.
"But nevertheless I’m still enjoying my football and giving my all to the team. If I don’t score or do something to help the team I’m not happy coming off the field.
"Of course I am happy we’ve won but at the same time I think that’s what helps me to get these goals is to be that driven and it’s the perfect time in the season now."
Sterling's record for City in 2020-21
Sterling has appeared in 41 games for Guardiola's side so far in 2020-21, contributing 13 goals and 11 assists to their cause.
However, the pacey winger has only scored nine times in the Premier League, 11 goals fewer than he managed last season with just six games left to play.
Sterling was left on the bench for City's 2-1 home win against Dortmund last week, and it remains to be seen whether he will feature at Westfalenstadion after drawing another blank in a 2-1 defeat to Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday.
Will Sterling make England's Euro 2020 squad?
Gareth Southgate is expected to name his final squad for this summer's European Championship after the Premier League season concludes on May 23.
Sterling was a part of the Three Lions' most recent camp for the start of their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, but his place is by no means guaranteed given the high-quality competition for places in attacking areas.
Asked to assess his chances of making the final cut, the City star responded: "I am hopefully looking to end the season on a high with City now and then turn my focus to England.
"I definitely want to be a part of that group, with a good bunch of quality players who are all in contention to start.
"We are really focused on winning and focused on putting in a good performance and focused on trying to achieve being the number one team in the world."