Manchester City could put star winger Raheem Sterling on the chopping block this summer, with Arsenal among the clubs said to be interested in signing him.
Raheem Sterling, 26, endured an underwhelming 2020/21 campaign, despite 14 goals and 12 assists in 49 games across all competitions. The speedy winger had lost his place in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI in recent weeks; however, he did start in Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League final at the Estadio do Dragao in Portugal on Saturday.
The England international was handed a surprise start for the final but failed to repay the manager’s faith as Chelsea wing-back Reece James kept him at bay. The 26-year-old forward was eventually substituted in the 77th minute, with Sergio Aguero taking his place.
With Phil Foden usurping him over the course of the past campaign, Sterling may perhaps be transfer listed, along with Riyad Mahrez. Arsenal are keen on Sterling’s services, while LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona remain his long-term admirers.
Big summer ahead of Arsenal
Arsenal have nowhere to hide after a forgettable 2020/21 Premier League campaign. They’ll have to make massive changes in the squad to qualify for top six next term. With the likes of Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City, West Ham and Tottenham set to improve their squads, the task to bridge the gap to these clubs becomes even more difficult for the Gunners.
The north Londoners were blunt and uninspiring in attack throughout the past season. Scoring goals became a big problem, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang enduring a difficult time at the Emirates Stadium. Nicolas Pepe is yet to live up to his £72m price tag at Arsenal, while Gabriel Martinelli was in and out of the team due to injury problems.
Alexandre Lacazette was Arsenal’s top scorer with 17 goals in all formats, two more than Aubameyang. However, Lacazette is about to enter the final year of his contract at the Emirates, which means Mikel Arteta has a decision to make on him. Should Arteta decide on cashing in on the Frenchman, he’ll definitely need to sign a striker to replace him next season.
In addition, the Gunners could be in the market for a wide player. Willian is heading for the Arsenal exit door this summer after a very poor campaign, which leaves a void to fill. While Pepe cemented his place in the starting line-up with some top performances in the last few weeks of the campaign, the north Londoners desperately lack a goalscoring winger in their ranks.
Is Raheem Sterling the right man for the Gunners?
Raheem Sterling is the latest player Arsenal are linked with. Sterling may have had a poor season according to the standards he’s set in, but he remains a player of supreme quality that can instantly boost Arsenal’s attack.
The England international, one of the trickiest to defend against in the Premier League, has been playing at the top level for years now. The former Liverpool star’s versatility means he could play across the front-line as well. In addition, Arteta knows Sterling in and out having coached him at Manchester City.
Suffice to say, Sterling’s qualities, experience and winning mentality could see him arrive at the Emirates Stadium as a top signing. However, any deal to sign the English winger from Manchester City this summer is difficult due to the Gunners’ financial problems and lack of European football.