Manchester City have been tearing it up in the Premier League this season. The genius of David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne have been out there for everyone to see. Players like Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have turned heads in the initial stages of the campaign. Raheem Sterling has shown that he belongs to the very top and Sane came with the reputation from the start. We take a look at Guardiola’s wide men and break down their game.
Both these players are incredibly fast. Manchester City boast terrifying pace out wide. Both players are equally quick and very effective on the break. Sterling, being brought up in the Premier League, has a better acceleration. He picks up speed very quickly and is one of the best at that. His size lets him turn quickly and get into pockets of space and wriggle out of there easily.
Sane is also a quick player by any standard and he has proven that on countless occasions. The German superstar is a player with a great eye for making runs and was feared for his ability to execute a counter attack single handedly during his time at the Bundesliga.
Sterling’s ability to dribble was apparent from his Liverpool days. His tendency to depend on that was considered to be a weakness at one point of time. This season, he has answered those criticisms and he has combined his natural game with the Guardiola way. Compared to Sane, he has better body balance but is easier to shrug off. Sane, being a bigger presence, can take on the more physical defenders and does better at shielding the ball.
Both are able finishers and have hit the ground running this season. Sterling has 13 goals in all competitions and Sane has 8 having played the same number of games. Sterling packs a goal threat from outside the box. Both players have the ability to cut in from either side and have a crack at the keeper. This intimidating goal threat from attacking midfielders has made City almost untouchable.
This is a bit of a no-contest. Sterling is physically very poor and more prone to injury than a lot of players in the league. Sane is stronger, better in the air and less susceptible to hard tackling. Sterling’s technical skill set- specific to the Premier League may be a little more developed than Leroy Sane but the physical aspect of this league has always been a problem for him.
Sane is probably the better passer. Sterling’s crossing definitely needs more work and he is better at short passes. Sterling’s passing in small spaces and down well defined channels is superior but Sane has a longer range of passing. The German is a great passer and the presence of players like David Silva and de Bruyne is enough but Sane has the ability to complement them. Sane has 4 more assists than Sterling.
Leroy Sane is definitely the bigger prospect at Manchester City. If they are to go on with a team that has a player like Jesus or Aguero, Sane is the better fit. He has more physical ability and has everything needed to be a successful midfielder in the Premier League. Sterling has potential but he is a year older than Sane and has already been through 6 seasons of development in the English top-flight. Both of them are huge prospects, though- Pep Guardiola’s reluctance to swap Sterling for a certain Alexis Sanchez shows how highly he is rated.
Manchester City have an intriguing run of fixtures with games against West Ham, Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester United coming up and these two wide players have to be at their belligerent best to see the Citizens through that.