Raheem Sterling scored his first goal in a major international tournament for England in their win over Croatia in their Euro 2020, easing the pressure on the winger. There was doubt whether Sterling would earn a starting berth for Gareth Southgate’s men due to the prowess of Jack Grealish in the final third along with Phil Foden and Mason Mount. However, Sterling proved a point by notching the decisive strike in his side’s triumph at Wembley.
The 26-year-old is at a crux point in his career after struggling towards the end of the Premier League campaign for Manchester City. Reports suggested that the forward could be on the move from the Etihad Stadium after six years at the club.
Playing a decisive role in the Euros, where England were one of the leading contenders in the UEFA European Football Championship odds for the crown, could restore his confidence for another season at City. Alternatively, it could convince another major outfit to seal a move for his services.
Barcelona are one of a number of teams to have an interest in Sterling, although whether they could afford the England man in their current financial predicament is another matter. The 26-year-old may offer an upgrade on their present options in the final third outside of the ageless Lionel Messi and reunite him with former team-mate Sergio Aguero. A combination of Messi and Sterling would be an intriguing prospect, with the latter using his raw pace to complement the skill and guile of the Argentine.
LaLiga would also suit the forward, which places demand more on the technical side of the game rather than the physical. Therefore, Real Madrid could also be an option. Los Blancos are in need of an overhaul in the final third with Gareth Bale among those deemed surplus to requirements. A move for Sterling would present Carlo Ancelotti with a player close to operating at the peak of his powers rather than keeping his veterans, who have played the best football of their careers. Cost would be the determining factor as Madrid need to sell before they can buy this summer.
Other alternatives for Sterling could be a move back to his hometown of London. City are reportedly interested in signing Harry Kane. A swap deal could be in the offing, which could send Sterling to Tottenham along with a significant fee for Kane. Both players are in need of a new lease of life at domestic level. Working in tandem with Son Heung-Min has done wonders for Kane, and could equally do so for Sterling as long as Spurs are able to find a spearhead through the middle.
Kane at City would be a frightening prospect for the rest of the Premier League and Europe. It would make sense in the current era of finances in football for City to mitigate a substantial fee by allowing Sterling to return to his roots in London. This might be the best move for the forward to re-ignite his club career before he falls down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.