On Tuesday July 14th, Raheem Sterling completed his move from Liverpool to Manchester City. His £49.0 million transfer fee made the most expensive English footballer in the history. The club signed him on 5-year-deal and he’ll wear the number 7 shirt at Manchester City, which was vacant after James Milner left the club – joining Liverpool – in search of more game-time. Liverpool received £44 million up-front and £5 million in add-ons. Sterling moved to Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers when he was 15-years-old for 600 thousand pounds, and the London club will receive 20% of Sterling’s transfer-fee (around £9 million).
Former Liverpool player and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, while talking to Sky Sports News HQ said, “There will be more scrutiny on him because of the size of the fee. When players go for that much money, there is that added pressure.” Currently, Raheem Sterling is England’s brightest and most talented youngster, but he has earned a great deal of unwanted attention, lately – primarily due to his contract dispute with former employees Liverpool – and now with his big-money transfer to Manchester City.
Though, the transfer in the winder aspect seems to be a win-win situation for all the 3 parties involved in the deal: the player, Liverpool and most importantly, Manchester City, whose pursuit for a homegrown player came to end on a positive-note, at least for the time being. Both the clubs agreed, because the trade made both the better-off. And for a club like Manchester City, the amount of money invested in the transfer wasn’t issue; certainly not with the skyrocketing revenues of the club.
Earlier last-month, Chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak confirmed Manuel Pellegrini would stay with the club for another season, which also hinted a certain degree of stability within the club. Al Mubarak told City TV, “We discuss the pros, the cons, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, what needs to be improved and we’ve done that already this year. I can say Manuel is as disappointed as we are with the results of the past year, but he’s very clear in his assessment of what’s worked and what hasn’t worked and what needs to be improved – and I agree with him.”
Also, key-members of the squad have returned to full-fitness and with the introduction of a few youngsters on the pre-season tour – the future seems brighter. In an interview with FourFourTwo, Samir Nasri looked focused for the upcoming campaign, after having fully recovered from the injury, which kept him out of match-day squads for months. With Silva, Nasri and Sterling, the manager (finally) has a lot options to experiment. The combination play of Nasri (from the flank) and Silva (from the middle) needs no introduction – and with the introduction of a quick Raheem Sterling on the right-flank – which has been an area of concern for the coach – might just prove to be the perfect ingredient.
But, it seems fans will have to wait to see it. Raheem Sterling trained with his new teammates for the first-time on Friday, but Pellegrini said it was too early for him to feature in Saturday’s game against A-League side Melbourne City on the Gold Coast.
Pellegrini said, “It’s too early for him. He has just arrived last night so he must work the same as all international players that are just starting working this week. So maybe in the next week he will be able to be in the team.”
Pellegrini hinted, how he could and might use Sterling’s versatility in the upcoming season: “I think that Raheem can play in different positions. He can play as a centre-forward because he has the speed and he can play also as a winger. I think that he is a very young player so he has a lot of things to improve.
“I think it’s important for him to have a new challenge in our team where he will play with great players and he will also improve his game and he will improve us as a team.
“I think that he has already demonstrated at Liverpool what he can do as a player.
“He’s a very young player, he’s just 20-years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. It depends on the way he works in the next year, but I am sure that he will be very important in our team, especially for his speed.”
Although, Sterling could play in Manchester City’s remaining friendly games on their pre-season tour in the International Champions Cup versus AS Roma and Real Madrid in Melbourne.