Why Manchester City should tie Raheem Sterling down to a long-term deal
According to Sky Sports, Real Madrid have renewed their interest in Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling. However, the Spanish giants are not expected to launch any bids before the transfer deadline (h/t Sky Sports).
While Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho and David Silva have all signed new contracts, Sterling has only two years remaining on his current contract and is yet to commit his future to the club by signing a long-term deal.
And the situation has not gone unnoticed by Real Madrid. Following Sterling’s performances from the previous term, it comes as no surprise that the youngster has attracted attention from the La Liga giants.
The 23-year-old made his move to Manchester City from Liverpool in the summer of 2015 and has taken his game to a new level. He has flourished a great deal, turning his career on its head under Pep Guardiola’s flexible and free-flowing style of play.
Even though he is just 23, it seems like he has been in the Premier League for a long time. Arguably one of the fastest runners with the ball, the Englishman has developed a lot in terms of maturity and composure. Previously, it was all about raw pace but now, Sterling has emerged as one of the most-wanted winger-cum-forwards in the world. The 2017/18 season was the best season of his career so far as he scored 23 goals in 46 appearances across all competitions for City.
The winger, who currently earns wages in the region of £170,000-a-week, has also made his international debut as an 18-year-old in 2012 and has already earned 44 caps for the Three Lions.
As seen quite often, players with blistering pace and flair perform well for a limited period of time and then gradually fade away but that hasn’t been the case with Sterling. He has been as fit as a fiddle throughout his career. Furthermore, he has gone to great lengths in terms of developing the technical aspect of his game.
The Englishman’s low centre-of-gravity allows him to exhibit wonderful close control which in turn lets him utilize his pace and mesmerizing dribbling skills. Although he is a natural winger by trade, Sterling has the ability to adapt to different formations and can also shift to the central areas of the park to suit the team dynamics. He has also improved his finishing and shooting accuracy.
Sterling is Manchester City’s livewire in the attacking third and the 23-year-old’s work rate is unparalleled. He is one of the most precious gems of City’s star-studded squad and holds the key to their success in the Premier League and the Champions League.
The Sky Blues have been hit hard by De Bruyne’s injury but Bernardo Silva and David Silva have stepped up to fill in the void. However, David Silva and Sergio Aguero have hit the 30-year mark and Fernandinho is already 33. City’s star players are certainly not getting any younger.
And Pep Guardiola currently does not have anyone in his ranks who can rip apart the opposition’s defence with pace. Yes, he does have the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane but they are not as fast and agile as Sterling.
Given that Sterling is a player with huge potential, he still has his best years ahead of him. Hence, Manchester City must make the move to tie the Englishman to the Etihad with a long-term deal and shield him from the potential suitors.