Friday, January 21, 2022

Update On The Future Of This Manchester City Star: What Should Be Pep’s Play Here?

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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, The Mirror offered an update on the future of Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. It is understood that the Mancunian giants are unwilling to let the English speedster leave on loan in January and are not planning to entertain any cash offers for the player until the end of this season.

Sterling’s Lack Of Playing Time At Manchester This Season

Sterling is currently not guaranteed a regular first-team place at the Etihad Stadium but has still managed to produce a few fruitful displays for Man City in the final third. The 26-year-old has registered three goals and two assists in 16 matches for Pep Guardiola’s side this season across all fronts.

The Kingston-born sensation has seen most of his game time come off the bench but has done well to average 1.6 shots, 0.8 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has even been tidy when distributing the ball in the final third, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 84.4% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Manchester City (Raheem Sterling)
BURTON UPON TRENT, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 11: Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson of England participate in a training session at St George’s Park on November 11, 2021 in Burton upon Trent, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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What Should Be Manchester City Boss Pep Guardiola’s Play With Regards To Sterling’s Future?

Sterling can use his pace and agility to drive to the byline and cause a lot of problems for the opposition defenders. He has a very low centre of gravity and can be quite tricky to deal with inside the opponent’s penalty area. The Man City star has also improved his finishing under Guardiola’s tutelage over the past few years. However, Sterling has lost his first-team privileges this season and sometimes, his performances have suffered because of it.

The 72-time England international’s current contract at the Etihad runs out in the summer of 2023, so Man City have no immediate need to cash in on him during the January transfer window. At 26, Sterling is enjoying the peak years of his playing career which still makes him an influential member of Guardiola‘s match-day squad.

At the moment, it seems like the Mancunian giants are making the right call with regards to the English sensation’s future as he is far too important for them to lose this winter. Guardiola would be better off waiting until next summer when he will be able to sign a proper replacement if he decides to sanction Sterling’s exit.

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