Much was expected of Raheem Sterling when he joined Manchester City in the summer of 2015, but it is safe to say, his performances so far haven’t justified his £49 million price tag.
The Jamaican-born winger looked like a shadow of the player he was at Liverpool last season, and also at the European Championships, where it was clear for all to see just how low on confidence he really is.
The nimble-footed winger, once touted to be one of the best in the world, is not looked at in the same breath anymore, and rightly so.
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Whilst he showed glimpses of his spectacular talent last term, with a hat-trick against Bournemouth and a brace against Borussia Monchengladbach being the highlights, he just couldn’t appease the City fans or the media in general.
However, all is not lost for the 21-year-old at the Etihad Stadium.
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The incoming manager Pep Guardiola could act as his saviour and put him right back on track.
Guardiola, in his somewhat short managerial career, has shown a proclivity to bring out the best in players - Rafinha, Philipp Lahm, Pedro, and Douglas Costa being prime examples.
What’s so good about Pep Guardiola’s system, is the power it gives to the wide players. The wingers are expected to be technically brilliant, but are also expected to be nifty with the ball at their feet.
Last season, the former Barcelona boss transformed an obscure talent in Douglas Costa into one of Europe’s most feared wingers, and he made the unheralded teenager Kingsley Coman look like a real gem of a player.
Sterling is a player much like Costa and Coman in terms of style. He can dribble pretty well, he can pass, and he has an eye for goal.
At his press conference this week, Guardiola reminded the people of his faith in Sterling’s ability.
He said: “The problem is recovering confidence when a player has no quality, that is a big problem.
“Then I cannot help him. But Sterling has the quality. He just has to focus on his life, his profession and I’m pretty sure he will play good.”
With Guardiola as his coach, there is no reason why Sterling cannot re-find his old form, and there is no reason why he can't finally justify his huge price tag.
Will Pep Guardiola get the best out of Raheem Sterling? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!