Rodwell: City could ruin your career
New Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell warned English teenagers they could risk their careers signing for Manchester City.
Rodwell joined Sunderland on Monday, ending his fruitless two-year stint at City after just 16 appearances in the Premier League, and the 23-year-old wants his experience to serve as a cautionary tale to the next generation of English footballers.
The midfielder is one in a long list of young Englishmen, who have struggled to establish themselves at Etihad Stadium, with Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair still there, while the likes of Adam Johnson and Daniel Sturridge have left to enjoy greater success elsewhere.
Rodwell denies it is all about nationality at City but admits he would be reluctant to recommend that a young player signs with the reigning Premier League champions.
"I would probably say don't sign now, I'd say get as much football as you can," he said on Friday.
"The first thing I'd ask is, 'how good are you?' You just never know – you could go there, do really well and be winning league titles and everything. But just because you're English and young it doesn't mean you're not going to play for Manchester City.
"I would just say weigh up your options and ask yourself if you want to be playing regularly."
Rodwell signed for City in 2012, just after they won their first Premier League title, having spent the previous five campaigns in Everton's first-team squad, although he never started more than 17 league games in a season due in part to a combination of injury issues.
After a tough couple of years in Manchester that included regular hamstring injuries, the Merseyside-born midfielder has moved to Sunderland to revitalise his career.
Rodwell has joined former City team-mate Johnson on Wearside, with the latter having played 71 Premier League matches over the past two seasons.
According to Rodwell, that kind of game-time could see him break back into England's national team set-up.
"If I'd been playing regularly for the last two years, I believe I probably would have been there," he said.
"I certainly think I would have been playing at the World Cup."