Raheem Sterling’s departure from Manchester City in January seemed at one point to be nailed down.
However, injuries to Jack Grealish and Phil Foden saw the England international named in the starting XI to face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night.
Sterling had to weather the storm of Mauricio Pochettino’s whirling right-back Achraf Hakimi at the Etihad Stadium, though he eventually came out on top as Pep Guardiola’s side secured first place in Group A.
With a handful of stellar displays under his belt, Sterling has been tipped to reclaim his starring role under the Spaniard and potentially brush off the widely reported claims of Arsenal and Barcelona for his signature.
Should Sterling stay at City, Guardiola will face a huge selection headache over who should be his first-choice left winger, with Grealish, Foden and Sterling all vying for the spot and the trio having a combined transfer value (according to Transfermarkt ) of £243 million.
In the wake of Sterling’s outstanding performance, Dom Farrell was joined by Alex Brotherton on the The city is oursFacebook Live to delve into Sterling’s future and how the Englishman may have turned a corner at the Etihad.
Brotherton kicked off the discussion by explaining how England’s third-highest goalscorer of all time in the Champions League is back at his best.
AWAY: “It’s great to see Raheem Sterling back between goals in the last few games. I think he’s had a hard time and he’ll be the first to admit it, but I think the criticism of him is overblown – it’s harder than it should be he’s looked a lot better.
“I loved him on the left wing [against PSG] at his favorite spot, where he actually held his claim for a few games in Phil Foden’s absence.
“He did all the things that Raheem Sterling does when he’s at his best, like taking on players. He gets frustrating to see when he always intervenes from the left on his right foot and becomes predictable, but he took it up to the byline – he was anything but predictable.”
Farrell added that Sterling’s battle with Hakimi was crucial to City’s victory over the Ligue 1 outfit.
DF: “Whether he’s in form or not, he’s an absolute threat to defenders, he just won’t leave them alone. I thought Raheem would get the lead in that fight [with Hakimi] was the key.”
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Brotherton added how Sterling could suddenly turn the tide of the story about his future at the Etihad, handing Guardiola a £243million January dilemma.
AWAY: “It’s strange how things change in a week because before Everton’s game it was all about the doom and gloom of Sterling to leave and now he’s had two good games so City will want to let him go for nothing.
“He’s still an incredibly important player so now depending on how long Foden and Grealish are out he could get an extended run on the team and in a few months he could be City’s first-choice left winger again.”
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