Friday, January 21, 2022

Barcelona Hoping To Land This Manchester City Forward In January: What Should Be Pep’s Play?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Mundo Deportivo stated that Barcelona are hoping to land Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling in January. It is understood that the Catalans are looking to add a new forward during the winter transfer window and have identified the Man City winger as a potential option.

Sterling’s Up And Down Season In The Premier League So Far

Sterling has lost his first-team privileges at the Etihad Stadium this season following the arrival of Jack Grealish earlier this summer. The 26-year-old registered one goal and one assist in ten matches for the Catalan giants so far in this campaign across various competitions.

The Kingston-born sensation has struggled to be consistent with his contributions in the final third as he is averaging 1.7 shots, 0.6 key passes and 1.0 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season. Still, he deserves a pat on the back for being careful when interchanging possession with his teammates up top after he made 82.6% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Sterling has been a great servant to the Mancunian club over the past few years. However, as mentioned earlier, he has lost his first-team status which could open the door for him to seal a move away from Man City this winter.

Barcelona hoping to land Man City's Sterling
WARSAW, POLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Raheem Sterling of England in action during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Poland and England at Stadion Narodowy on September 08, 2021 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Should Be Pep Guardiola’s Play With Regards to Sterling’s Future?

Sterling has got excellent pace under his belt that helps him get to the byline at will and create all sorts of problems for the opposition centre-halves. The 70-time England international can score and assist his fair share of goals in the opponent’s half. However, the Manchester City star is currently losing the race with Phil Foden and Jack Grealish for the right to start in Guardiola’s first XI.

The Man City boss should think about retaining Sterling’s services beyond this winter as he could still play a major role in helping the Mancunian giants retain their Premier League title and also, challenge for the UEFA Champions League trophy this season.

At 26, Sterling is enjoying the prime years of his playing career which is another reason why Guardiola should think about keeping hold of him for at least the remainder of this campaign. With just under two years left to run in his Etihad contract, the Mancunian outfit will have to accept a cut-price fee for their prized asset next summer or else risk losing him for free in 2023.

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