Manchester City’s superstar Raheem Sterling could be on the move away from the Etihad. Spanish giants, FC Barcelona, are interested in signing the forward in the summer. The club initially made an approach to sign the forward on a loan deal in the January transfer window but were unable to acquire his services. Raheem Sterling has struggled for regular game-time this season, especially in the UEFA Champions League. The Manchester club recently signed Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, which could further limit his time on the pitch. Sterling’s contract will expire in 2023, and Manchester City already have an alternative on the left side in the form of Jack Grealish. Sterling has a lot of pace and skills that have attracted the interest of Xavi, and the Spanish club is keeping an eye on the situation of the 27-year-old forward.
Sterling has been flexible with his positioning this season, and the forward has featured on both sides of the pitch. The England international has made 29 appearances in the English Premier League, and 12 in the UEFA Champions League. The above viz shows the pass start location and the expected threat from passes timeline in the English Premier League for the forward. We can observe that Raheem Sterling likes to stretch the opposition defence and make full use of the width of the pitch. He has penetrated the opposition’s penalty box, taking 150 touches inside it. The highest threat from passes is created from passes attempted towards the end of the first half.
Sterling has four assists to his name this season in the league. He provided two assists to Kevin de Bruyne and one each to Ilkay Gundogan and Ruben Diaz. Sterling has attempted most of the passes towards Joao Cancelo. The highest threat is created from passes attempted towards Bernardo Silva.
Sterling has scored 13 goals this season in the English Premier League and three in the UEFA Champions League. Of these 13 goals, two have come from the penalty spot. The above shot map shows all the 58 shots attempted by him in the English Premier League. He has managed to hit the target 25 times. We can observe that the forward has been a poacher and has scored eight goals from inside the opposition’s penalty box. He has made runs towards the back post and scored goals.
The 27-year-old is a versatile forward and can play in any position in the front three. Barcelona and Manchester City play in a similar formation, and Raheem Sterling could prove to be handy for the Spanish side. Xavi can make use of his pace and skills on the ball. Sterling has won three Premier League titles since joining the club in 2015 and has plenty of experience behind him. He could help Barcelona win silverware next season.