Raheem Sterling is an unpopular chap around much of the United Kingdom these days. Aside from the questionable criticism of his performances at this summer’s European Championships, Sterling took a lot of rather unpleasant stick for his move from Liverpool to Manchester City last year.
After an albeit disappointing first campaign with City, Sterling has seen Pep Guardiola arrive at the helm of the club and more doubt has been cast over the future of his career. From the boy wonder of Liverpool’s nearly-year, Sterling has become an enigma, a slightly misfitting piece of a rapidly changing jigsaw, if you will.
What happens next for Sterling? Does he move on? Or will he be forced to wait out the rest of his contract at City? Remaining under Guardiola seems the best option for all, doesn’t it?
There’s a chance he should just look for a transfer and end his City nightmare. Here are FIVE reasons why…
One of Pep Guardiola’s first acquisitions at Manchester City was a fellow Spaniard, Nolito. The Spain international is, like Sterling, predominantly a left-winger. A more able finisher with greater experience, Nolito will pose the main threat to Sterling’s starting berth.
Competition for places is great news for Pep, of course, although Sterling might just feel a little less pleased about the arrival of Nolito.
Nolito has not been the only star to arrive at the club this season and City’s most recent signing, Leroy Sane, is also likely to threaten Sterling’s position as boy wonder at the club.
The young German enjoyed a strong 2015-16 campaign with Schalke and, despite largely playing on the right, will at least hike up the pressure on Sterling. The comparisons between Sane and Sterling will be endless – and tireless – but it could prove to suppress the once-dazzling England winger.
In an attempt to reach his best form, playing regular minutes will always be key. Whether playing just off a centre forward or from the left-wing, Sterling needs to be starting on a regular basis if he is to become one of Europe’s best, as he previously looked to promise.
This might be possible at City, mightn’t it? Guardiola would be foolish to shunt Sterling into a bench-warming role, surely.
Leaving the footballing glitz of Manchester City could just help Sterling to return to his very best form by taking him away from the spotlight. The arrival of Guardiola and the consistent cash-splashing behaviour have made City a hotspot for the media and Sterling is in the eye of a storm at the club.
It might take a significant step down, but a chance to hide from the pressure cooker of Manchester football would only be of benefit.
If a move was on the cards, could anyone afford the fee City would demand?
Rotation is likely under Guardiola at Manchester City and, if anything, this will just be bad news for Sterling. As competition for places rises and tactics change dramatically, it will be a turbulent period for the winger.
A move elsewhere will not guarantee being a star in the eleven, but there’s no reason that Sterling shouldn’t consider a transfer to make himself number one.