Former Liverpool star, Raheem Sterling, came on as a sub for Man City against his old club at the weekend, but can’t be said to have affected proceedings to any great degree.
It’s been a familiar theme for the England international at club level for a while now, Pep Guardiola seemingly seeing him as an option from the bench rather than a starter.
Perhaps with that in mind, Sterling, according to Sport, is desperate to join Barcelona who, apparently, came calling in the summer, only for a deal to be too difficult to get across the line at the time.
It’s alleged that only a loan deal for the player would be possible given Barca’s financial issues, however, that’s unlikely to deter Sterling who clearly wants to remain a protagonist in what is coming up to be a World Cup year.
Whether he is the right type of player for the Catalans is a moot point. His current struggles in front of goal could be put down to a lack of playing time and a dip in confidence.
Even at his best, it’s hard to see how he dislodges Ousmane Dembele or Ansu Fati from their wide positions at Barcelona though, as when both are fully fit, as they would be before the January transfer window, they’re completely in tune with the style of play that Ronald Koeman prefers.
Sterling is at a disadvantage precisely because he will take time to learn the nuance of the system, and time isn’t a commodity that Koeman has too much of.