The 20-year old Englishman is expected to become the most expensive English player ever when he completes his transfer to Manchester City in the coming days. However, the transfer won’t be as pivotal in City’s title challenge as some people say it will be, and here’s why…
He has been a bright spark for the past two seasons, blooming especially when alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, so many have tipped him to shine in sky blue, playing with Aguero, Silva and perhaps Pogba. However, there are so many variables to consider, so I have a feeling that Liverpool have secured a better deal than City.
Above is what a typical City team looked like last term – where does Sterling fit in? With City linked with plenty of big-name players like Pogba, it seems hard to slot Sterling in when his favourite position is occupied by players like Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Navas and Jovetic. It seems as if the team will need to be rebuiklt from scratch to involve Sterling, and would Manuel Pellegrini do that for an up-and-coming youngster who is yet to play 100 Premier League games? I think not.
Above is the only possible way to incorporate Sterling in his favoured wide position. Despite all my attempts to include all of City’s big players, people like Nasri and Jovetic get excluded – and as I mentioned, Pogba and Sterling will just be two of countless big name signings for City, so it would appear that Raheem Sterling has no immediate place in the City first XI, despite all his ambitions. He may well be the ‘most valuable young player in Europe’ (yeah, right) but he has no place in City’s team unless some stars are shockingly left out.
Is he actually that good? Despite having 62 shots in the Premier League last season, he only scored seven times, ranking him third out of any Man City midfielder – and he played up front for most of the season! It would appear City’s marquee, title-winning signing is no better than what they already have. Yes, he is good to watch, but it’s the numbers that count and Sterling’s stats aren’t overly impressive. His big price tag is perhaps another case of over-priced-english-player-itis, and it makes you worry whether he will become a squad player at City, only there so they comply with the rules surrounding minimum numbers of British players at a club. What’s more, the big fee may prove to be his downfall, as seen in players like Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres when they moved to Liverpool and Chelsea respectively for a combined total of £85,000,000. Model professionals such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry have warned him against seeking a better move at his young age, saying Brendan Rodgers’ man-management will help him realise his potential. At Man City, amongst all the other stars, he will no longer be the best, no longer be the target of his manager’s attaention and subsequently will h=end up being stuck at where he is in his potential. It could be a career damaging move for Raheem Sterling.
Aidy Ward, Raheem’s agent, appears to have had a role to play in the public row over wages, and he said Sterling ‘wouldn’t accept £900,000 a week’ from Liverpool. Sterling said in an interview (unsanctioned by the club) with the BBC that it wasn’t about money, but about winning trophies and progressing. It seems he is very ambitious, perhaps too ambitious, and expecting to win trophies at a young age is very selfish and seemingly unlike him. Therefore it can be concluded that Aidy Ward has persuaded Sterling to leave the club he joined at 14 for City, maybe for the money, as City offered Sterling a weekly £200,000, double the sterling that Liverpool offered. Saido Berahino realised this and immediately left Aidy Ward, trying to avoid him having a damaging influence on his career. The publicity will not be good for his future prospects as he will now be labelled a troublemaker. Also, it seems Sterling has learnt something from his new team mate Balotelli:
One other factor comes into the equation – Liverpool. We know Sterling is making the wrong decision, but how will Liverpool fare after the deal? Money-wise, they have upped City’s bid from £25 million to £49 million, and that is pretty good for them, considering they are cashing in on a young attacker still yet to prove himself on the big stage. Yes, Sterling was a vital player in the Liverpool team (but not in City’s team) but he won’t be missed too much. He damaged his relationship with Rodgers and the fans beyond repair, and with the funds from his sale and the board they can easily strengthen. Despite questions over Rodgers’ transfer system (ahem, Balotelli, ahem), a good quality striker or attacking player would bolster the attacking prowess already strengthened with the arrival of Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino…
Possible LFC Starting XI 15/16:
£49 million is a lot, and it looks like Liverpool have has the better deal than Raheem Sterling and Manchester City.
But there will be much more sterling for Sterling!