October 5, 2023

Putting out the feelers

Raheem Sterling has been around long enough that at the end of this season, he was 15th in all-time appearances among all active players in the Premier League, with 320. He was also by far the youngest player on that list. For example, he trailed Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta by just four (4) appearances despite being five (5) years younger!

The point is, at (still) just 27, Sterling is still in the prime of his career — at least if we define such periods strictly based on a player’s age, which is unlikely to be an accurate enough way to do it, but is certainly an easy way to do it. Sterling’s also about to enter the final year of his contract at Manchester City, and after six years at the Etihad, he just might be ready for a new challenge (and more consistent playing time).

When Sterling broke onto the scene at Liverpool, Chelsea certainly took a keen interest, and perhaps were even in the final running for his signature — though our £40m was not quite good enough to compete with City’s £50m in 2015. Now we’re supposedly monitoring him once again, though this time the competition is Real Madrid. At least that’s the story from the Guardian and Fabrizio Romano, though it sounds mostly like Sterling’s just throwing some feelers out there and seeing who bites and what his options may be (he apparently represents himself, which is a bold choice in today’s environment).

While our main focus is on rebuilding the defense, we might have a few wantaways of our own in attack (Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic, Lukaku?), and perhaps a refresh could happen there as well. If City are ready to move on as well, their asking price may not be too unreasonable either!


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