Thursday, March 30, 2023

Manchester City Winger Remains Barcelona’s Number One Target: Good Choice For Xavi?

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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 report, Sport has mentioned that Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling remains Barcelona’s number one target. It is understood that the Mancunian giants are unwilling to let the English wide player go out on loan which could be a stumbling block for Barca as they do not have the financial resources anymore to pull off a permanent transfer for him.

Sterling’s Limited Role At The Etihad Stadium

It has been a campaign of mixed emotions for Sterling as he has struggled to earn regular first-team opportunities in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI. The ex-Liverpool speedster has scored two goals and picked up two assists in 15 matches for his current employers this season across all competitions.

The 26-year-old has seen most of his playing minutes come off the bench which could be why he is only averaging 1.4 shots, 0.7 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. Sterling has done well to distribute the ball with conviction in the final third, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 82.3% in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Raheem Sterling)
BURTON UPON TRENT, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings of England participate in a training session at St George’s Park on November 09, 2021 in Burton upon Trent, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Will Sterling Be A Good Choice For Barcelona Boss Xavi?

Sterling can use his quickness and agility to get the better of his marker in the attacking end of the pitch. He can easily get to the byline and is proficient at earning penalties as he has got a low centre of gravity. The Three Lions star can engineer a few inviting chances for his teammates to score. He is also quite effective when it comes to scoring goals consistently at the highest level.

Thus, Sterling will be an excellent addition to the Catalans squad as he will bring plenty of goals and assists to Xavi’s offensive department. The Man City star will also instill a winning mindset to Barca’s dressing room and could help get the best out of the younger players like Ansu Fati, Nico Gonzalez and Gavi at the Nou Camp.

At 26, Sterling is enjoying his prime years at the moment, so he will make an immediate impact at the Catalan club if Xavi can find a way to get a deal done for him in January or at the end of this campaign.

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