Raheem Sterling is “open” to moving away from Manchester City in a bid to secure regular football.
The 26-year-old starred for England at Euro 2020, scoring three goals and registering an assist en route to the final, where Italy triumphed after a penalty shootout.
Despite Sterling’s strong showings for his country, at club level Pep Guardiola has used him sparingly this term, giving the winger just 274 minutes of Premier League football so far – only the 12th-highest among City players – with just two starts from a possible seven.
Sterling has now indicated a willingness to explore his options, with his contract expiring at the end of next season, and appears particularly interested in a move abroad if his playing time at City does not change for the better.
“If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it,” Sterling told the Financial Times. “As I said, football is the most important thing to me.
“Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well. As an English player, all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought, you know, maybe one day I’d love to play abroad. See how I would come up against that challenge.”
Premier League pic.twitter.com/yNNYGiAKvn
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) October 14, 2021
Sterling made 31 league appearances last season, in line with the amount he played in 2019-20 (33). However, his goal return of 10 was the lowest it had been since the 2016-17 campaign (seven), with the attacker scoring every 253.7 minutes.
His tally of 39 chances created was also the lowest it had been since Guardiola joined the club in 2016.
Sterling is keen to remain professional, however, and insists he will continue to work hard and try to win his place back in the side.
“I’m not a person that’s going to complain,” Sterling continued. “I’ve not tried to make it a bigger deal than it actually is. I get on with my work. Do what I need to do. And I’m just raring to go. Playing football matches regularly. Scoring goals regularly.
“With everything that comes with football, money, being able to do nice things. At the end of the day, if football for me is not at a certain standard I’m not really at my happiest. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”
Ferran Torres’ recent injury that is reportedly likely to see the Spaniard miss a period of around six weeks could open a door for Sterling, although it would again mean the former Liverpool attacker playing out of his preferred position on the left.
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