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Raheem Sterling sends Pep Guardiola January transfer clue as Man City face uneasy £243m decision

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 25/11/2021 Jake Stokes & Alex Brotherton & Dominic Farrell

Raheem Sterling's January departure from Manchester City looked nailed on at one point.

However, injuries to Jack Grealish and Phil Foden meant the England international was named in the starting XI to face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night, and he earmarked his second start in four days with a crucial equaliser despite his rocky start to the season.

Sterling was forced to weather the storm of Mauricio Pochettino's whirlwind right-back Achraf Hakimi at the Etihad Stadium, though he eventually came out on top as Pep Guardiola's side secured top spot 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 advances from Arsenal and Barcelona for his signature.

Should Sterling remain at City, Guardiola will have a huge selection headache as to who should be his first-choice left winger, with Grealish, Foden and Sterling all vying for the spot and the trio holding a combined transfer value (as per Transfermarkt ) of £243 million.

In the wake of Sterling's excellent showing, Dom Farrell was joined by Alex Brotherton on the City Is Ours Facebook Live to delve into the future of Sterling and how the Englishman may have turned a corner at the Etihad.

Brotherton kickstarted the discussion by detailing how England's third-highest all-time Champions League goalscorer has returned to his very best.

AB: "It's great to see Raheem Sterling get amongst the goals again in the last few games. I think he has struggled and he'll be the first to admit that but I think the criticism of him is overplayed - it's harsher than it should be, he has looked a lot better.

Raheem Sterling celebrates on Wednesday night © Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images Raheem Sterling celebrates on Wednesday night

"I thought he was great on the left wing [against PSG] in his favoured spot, really staking his claim in Phil Foden's absence to keep that for a couple of games.

"He was doing all the things that Raheem Sterling does when he's at his best like taking players on. He gets frustrating to watch when he always cuts in on his right foot from the left-hand side and becomes predictable but he was taking it to the byline - he was anything but predictable."

Farrell added how Sterling's battle with Hakimi was pivotal to City's victory over the Ligue 1 outfit.

DF: "Whether he's on form or not he's an absolute menace for defenders, he just doesn't leave them alone. I thought Raheem getting the edge in that battle [with Hakimi] was key."

Brotherton added how Sterling has suddenly been able to change the tide of the narrative regarding his future at the Etihad, handing Guardiola a £243 million January dilemma.

AB:

"It's strange how things change in a week because before the Everton game it was all about the doom and gloom of whether Sterling's going to go and now he's had two good games so City aren't going to want to let him go for anything.

"He's still an incredibly important player so, now, depending on how long Foden and Grealish are out for, he could get an extended run in the team and in a few months he could be City's first-choice left winger again."

Would you like Sterling to stay at City? Follow our City Is Ours trends writer Jake Stokes on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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