Does the capture of Leroy Sané signal that Raheem Sterling’s days at the Etihad are numbered ?
Pep Guardiola has added Leroy Sané to his star-studded squad, posing even more questions for fantasy football managers who already had the unenviable task of trying to fathom out how Pep Guardiola was going to accommodate his new signings in his preferred starting line-up.
In two of his three seasons at Bayern Munich, Guardiola frequently utilised a 4-1-4-1 formation with a 4-3-3 being his preferred set-up during that outstanding campaign. The latter had been his default formation at Barcelona, so it will be fascinating to see how he goes about things at Manchester City, once the 2016/17 English Premier League season gets under way.
Raheem Sterling would appear to be the most likely casualty – a 4-3-3 could easily see Sergio Agüero being flanked by Nolito and Leroy Sané but that would also see Kevin de Bruyne having to operate as one of his midfield ‘3’.
Oulala have examined how Sterling stands up against Manchester City’s new £37m capture, the brilliant David Silva and the aforementioned duo Kevin de Bruyne and Nolito.
A 4-1-4-1 may at first glance offer a glimmer of hope for Sterling but the stats would suggest otherwise. If Guardiola was to opt for this formation, İlkay Gündoğan would most likely play the Xabi Alonso role once he gets match-fit but the likes of Yaya Touré, Fernando and Fernandinho would also be pushing for a spot in the advanced ‘4’, forcing Sterling further down the pecking order. The former Liverpool player endured a torrid first season at the Etihad and didn’t cover himself in glory at the Euros either.
How will Man City line-up this season and can Raheem Sterling do enough to force his way into Guardiola’s plans?