Manchester City are in bid for Celta Vigo forward Nolito and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer, which raises questions on where the future of Raheem Sterling lies under new manager Pep Guardiola.
Transfer targets could force Sterling out
The 21-year-old had a troublesome debut season at the Etihad Stadium and his poor form has leaked into this summer’s European Championships for England too. He’s likely to have stiff competition for starting berth in the City side if the Sky Blues sign their proposed transfer targets, and may find his place in jeopardy unless he can turn his form around.
Raheem Sterling was always going to be under the spotlight after his £50M move from Liverpool in 2015, but he’s failed to live up to his billing so far. The left-sided forward ended the 2015/16 Premier League campaign with six goals and two assists to his name from 31 appearances.
His finishing has been widely criticised with less than 12% of his shots hitting the back of the net, and with the likes of Nolito and Aubameyang coming off the back of better-performing seasons, Sterling may potentially have a lot to prove to his new boss.
Sterling has to work on his finishing
Pep Guardiola likes a healthy goal contribution from his wide men, something Sterling was showcasing with former side Liverpool (28 goals & assists in 68 PL games), but he could be blown out of the water by the potential new arrivals. The England international gets into good areas to be effective, but hasn’t shown composure to get among the goals on a regular basis.
He’s recently lost his place in the England side as a result of his form, and can’t afford to be in Guardiola’s bad books in 2016/17. The ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach has little tolerance for underperforming players, but he will also be intrigued on how to best utilise the forward. Sterling has excessive pace, likes to come inside for scoring and creating chances, and is a fantastic dribbler in possession.
However, it’s clear his confidence levels are low. And with Nolito (29 games, 12 goals, 7 assists) & Aubameyang (31 games, 25 goals, 5 assists) boasting better returns than Sterling in regard to goal contribution, could the Man City man be on the periphery? Guardiola is ruthless in his pursuit for success. He won’t play anyone underperforming for long as he wants to win major honours. Manchester City are 1/1 to win the Premier League next season, but will Raheem Sterling be a part of it?