Manchester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the rest of the summer transfer window, what with their side eyeing up additions that can take them even further next time round.
Pep Guardiola’s men won the Premier League title with ease this term in finishing a staggering 19 points clear of second place Manchester United, eventually ending up with 100 points from their 38 matches. However, the Citizens weren’t really able to make any inroads in the Champions League in succumbing to Liverpool in the quarter-finals, thus leaving their best finish in Europe’s elite competition the semi-final they mustered back in 2014 under former boss Manuel Pellegrini.
As such, there are many expectant City fans in the Tavern at present ahead of the new season, and one man who reportedly could be on his way to the club in a bid to strengthen their Champions League hopes is winger Riyad Mahrez.
And were the Algeria international to indeed make the move to the Etihad Stadium, it could prompt £81 million-rated ace Raheem Sterling (as per Transfermarkt) to be even better next season.
Ultimately, the 23-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career this time round in scoring 23 goals and laying on 17 assists for the Citizens in all competitions, 18 goals and 15 assists of which coming in their march to the Premier League title.
However, with 46 matches played over the course of the campaign, and indeed a World Cup summer to follow, Sterling will have played a huge amount of football come the start of next season, and as such Guardiola may seek to manage his workload in the 2018/19 season.
And having a supremely viable alternative in Mahrez would make that decision a whole lot easier for the City chief, as he’d be able to swap one excellent forward out for another.
Significantly though, Mahrez’s arrival would push Sterling on to take his game to another level, as failure to do so would see him dropped at the expense of the Algerian star.
Both he and Leroy Sane have enjoyed fine campaigns, but any dip next time round would see their places come under threat from both Mahrez and Bernardo Silva, two players who are equally adept at producing the goods in the final third.
And, combined with potentially more rest, this competition could bring the very best out of Sterling again next season, what with the England international eyeing the next level after a sparkling campaign this time round.
However, there is no doubt that there is room for improvement, consider the amount of guilt-edge chances the 23-year-old has missed this term, and the combination of greater rest and competition could well instigate Sterling’s ascent to another level in the 2018/19 season.
So while Mahrez’s arrival may appear to jeopardise Sterling’s starting place in Guardiola’s side, it may actually prompt the Englishman to be even better next time round for the North West outfit.
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