Manchester City officially announced the signing of Raheem Sterling yesterday, but will he live up to their expectations?
By Connor Orchard
Yesterday, Manchester City announced that they have officially completed the signing of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool FC, for an initial fee of £44m.
The move wasn’t surprising to most fans of either club. It had been rumored for months before that Sterling was unhappy at Liverpool and that his relationship with manager Brandon Rogers had taken a turn for the worst.
The fee for Sterling could potentially rise to £49m with add-ons. The signing now officially makes Sterling the most expensive English player ever, and he is only 20 years old.
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) July 14, 2015
Sterling passed a medical on Tuesday, and has signed a five-year deal, believed to be worth up to, and possibly over £200,000 a week. He will wear the Number 7 shirt at the club.
The signing of Sterling also means that he becomes Man City’s most expensive ever signing, as he cost £11m more than their star striker, Sergio Aguero.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) July 14, 2015
Now, you may be asking yourself why on Earth is Sterling worth that much? The fact is, he probably isn’t.
In the 2013-14 season, Sterling managed to earn himself a spot in Liverpool’s starting XI, but that was a time where he had the likes of Luis Suarez, and Daniel Sturridge around him to help him along the way, as they were scoring goals left, right and center.
The 2014-15 season on the other hand was completely different. In 3,045 minutes played, Sterling only scored 7 goals, and gained 8 assists.
Now you could argue that Sterling isn’t the type of player that has the role of a main goal scorer, and you’d probably be right. But at the same time, Liverpool didn’t have anybody else to fill that role in 2014-15, as Luis Suarez left for Barcelona, and Sturridge was injured for almost all of the season. And with Balotelli not living up to his standards, it meant that Sterling had all of that pressure dumped onto him to be as creative as everybody knows he can be.
In the season overall, Sterling created 62 chances from open play compared to David Silva’s 64 and the Premier League player of the year Eden Hazard’s 78.
In terms of dribbles, Sterling attempted 172 dribbles and completed 83. Compared to Alexis Sanchez’s 181 attempted and 94 completed, and Eden Hazard’s 223 attempted and 125 completed.
So how can Sterling be compared to other big signings across the Footballing world?
Well in 2013, Real Madrid completed the £85m world record deal of Gareth Bale, and he was in the same kind of situation as Sterling. Nobody else was stepping up to the plate and he was shining like a diamond in the mud, so does this mean that Sterling’s situation will end up the same as Bale’s? If not better? Maybe… As after all, he is only 20 years old and has probably another 15 years under his belt to learn the game, but if we’re talking currently, is he worth almost £50m? Not in my eyes.
Another signing that was a world record fee at the time was the time when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for £80m in 2009. He was also the same age as Bale at the time, 24. This means that both of them had 4 years more experience in the Premier League, and both of them, Ronaldo in particular, had proven they could become a world class talent. Sterling, however, as of yet, has not proven this. He’s had one, arguably two good seasons for Liverpool, and so far has not proven that he can live up to the expectations that Manchester City will certainly want from him.
Sterling was apparently in search of silverware and wants to win as many trophies as possible, and he will now fly out to Australia to join Manchester City and his new teammates on their pre-season tour. His new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has said that he is “one of the best attacking players in world football”.
In a recent interview after the singing, Sterling said “It’s a good feeling and a really happy time for me and my family,” I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field. Things have come really fast in the last couple of years.”
“I’ve just had to learn to take it all in my stride but I never imagined I’d be at this point at the age I am now and breaking a British transfer record fee … the world-class players that are here and a squad that are capable of winning things year in, year out. The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.”
Overall, Sterling as of yet hasn’t proved that he is worth that kind of money, and in my opinion, is only worth that much money because he’s English. So can he prove his worth at Manchester City?
Maybe. Only time will tell.
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