Manchester City’s £49 million winger, Raheem Sterling is set to sit on the sidelines for six to eight weeks after sustaining a groin injury, making it very unlikely for the England international to feature again this season.
Sterling, 21, picked up the problem in City’s 1-0 Premier League defeat against Manchester United on Sunday, colliding with Spaniard Juan Mata. Sterling’s lengthy absence adds insult and injury to what was a dismal afternoon for the blue half of Manchester.
An eight-week stint watching on from the stands would see him return after the final day of the Premier League on May 15th – but as the more optimistic Manchester City fans are keen to remind sceptics, before the Champions League final on May 28th.
Roy Hodgson will be closely monitoring the player’s condition in the lead up to Euro 2016.
The Three Lions squad for the tournament will be announced on May 12th and manager Roy Hodgson has until the beginning of June to finalise his final 23-man list for the competition.
City Fans Have Been Notably Unsympathetic
— Andy smith (@Alpine83Andy) 12 March 2016
— S (@turnscity) 21 March 2016
— Chris O’Brien (@ChrisCOB_OB) 18 March 2016
Many Manchester City fans have voiced their criticisms of the £49million man over the course of his debut season with the club, pointing fingers towards his lack of goals and assists, particularly in 2016.
Liverpool legend John Barnes voiced his concerns over Sterling’s decision to make a big money move so early in his career, suggesting that the England winger would’ve benefitted from tallying a few more years at Anfield.
Barnes believes Sterling’s difficulty establishing himself in the Man City side was to be expected due to the England international’s lack of experience and has advised other promising youngsters to become influential figures at their own club before considering a move.
“I said for Raheem’s sake that he should forget the money and should have stayed at Liverpool for himself to improve, where he’s not being judged as a £50m player who’s earning £180,000 a week.
“He’s just judged as a player who’s come through the ranks. But he’s gone to Manchester City and you can see what’s actually happened…”
What Hope Is There For Sterling Under Pep Guardiola
If recent history tell us anything, it’s that Raheem Sterling may have cause for concern once Pellegrini exits and Pep Guardiola stamps his authority on the Man City squad.
Whereas Pellegrini has felt the pressure to play his big money signings, including the underperforming Sterling, Pep has no reason to tolerate slackers in his squad. Fans are already beginning to question whether the former Liverpool merits a starting place in Guardiola’s side:
Sterling has age on his side other than that i can’t see him in peps plans #MCFC
— Dan fox (@Dannymcfcfox) February 14, 2016
Iheanacho > Sterling
— Munazzir (@Munez_teejay) February 14, 2016
Mario Gotze, Germany’s own (if not more successful and influential) version of Raheem Sterling has found it difficult to strike a chord with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
Gotze made a £32million move to the German giants from Borussia Dortmund in 2013, but has failed to secure a regular spot in the championship winning side since his arrival.
Despite being a World Cup hero following his stunning extra time strike against Argentina in 2014, Mario Gotze has been the first name on the subs list consistently.
Volker Struth, Gotze’s agent, claims that Bayern and Pep Guardiola in particularly have provided little support for the 23-year-old, showing no faith in the German’s abilities following a frustrating spell of injuries.
Speaking with German newspaper Bild, Struth vented:
“Guardiola has destroyed Götze.
“He feels like the coach doesn’t have faith in him and yet still he is asked to be decisive when he gets on the pitch.
“Götze only plays in the easy games. I’m surprised no one at Bayern has realised that and defended Mario. I’m surprised that Guardiola didn’t use him in the important matches like the German Cup and Champions League semi-finals.”
Volker Struth, Mario Gotze’s Agent
The manner in which Pep Guardiola has dealt with Mario Gotze following his spell of injuries should certainly make Sterling feel uncomfortable.
As Pep prepares to implement his plans for the start of his Manchester managerial campaign, Sterling will need to regain his Merseyside form quickly after returning from injury or risk suffering a similar fate to World Cup winner Gotze.