Raheem Sterling has an uncertain future at Manchester City as his contract is up in 2023 and there’s no new deal on the horizon, but he’s not the only player Pep Guardiola is at risk losing this summer. Riyad Mahrez could also be on his way out of the Etihad Stadium as his contract expires in 12 months.
Guardiola already let Ferran Torres go in the winter transfer window when Barcelona came knocking, so he can’t afford to lose two more forwards the following window. Andy Townsend believes Sterling is more valuable than the 31-year-old, however, and should be kept at all costs.
He said on talkSPORT: “I personally think Raheem, over course and distance, might give you just that little bit more in terms of all-round (over Mahrez). Mahrez is an incredible talent, but if one of them has got to go it would be (him).”
Should Pep Guardiola sell Raheem Sterling or Riyad Mahrez?
Sterling has been linked with a move to Chelsea after being unhappy over Guardiola’s squad rotation. The 27-year-old played in 47/57 games this season but started only 5/12 Champions League outings and 23/38 Premier League matches.
Out of a possible 5130 minutes of football available across the board, Sterling amassed just 3088 (60%), so it’s no wonder he isn’t happy. The England international didn’t have injury problems over the course of the campaign and was only left out of the squad for two of the 57 games, so he spent a lot of time sitting on the bench.
Mahrez made 47 appearances too and amassed ever fewer minutes than Sterling (2931), so he may also feel his value is dwindling. The 31-year-old started just 15 league games but was used heavily in the Champions League, so it’s a toss-up of whether he’s happy to sit out most weeks but play in the big European games. Townsend would have him sold, perhaps because he’s in the eve of his career while Sterling is in his prime.