England winger has made promising start to City career
Raheem Sterling has made an encouraging start to his City career, and his decision to swap Merseyside for Manchester looks to be vindicated even at this early stage. He has appeared in all but two of City’s 18 games this season, and is the club’s second top scorer with six goals.
There is still room for improvement, of course. His finishing lacks a little finesse, and he has a tendency to flit in and out of games, but his relative inexperience must be taken into account. He is still only 20 years old, after all, and his peak years are some way off. Regardless, his stats thus far (in terms of goals, assists and chances created) stand up against the very best in the world at a similar age.
The fee (£44m plus add-ons) was high, but Liverpool notoriously drive a hard bargain and City aren’t exactly short of money. However, the Blues are buying potential. If Sterling’s career continues on a similar upward trajectory he could serve the club for the next decade and beyond, in which case it will be money well spent.
There was, of course, much consternation when the transfer went through, with ex-Liverpool players castigating Sterling on an almost daily basis and fans (grown men, at that) labelling him a “snake”. I can only presume that they have never left a job for better pay and career prospects.
If you remove the emotion and partisanship, it is a sensible career move for Sterling, just as it was when he joined Liverpool from QPR in 2010. He is playing with better players, such as David Silva and Sergio Aguero, and on a bigger platform, namely the Champions League. Indeed, his best performance for City came in the away fixture in Sevilla, suggesting that he deserves to be playing at the top level on a regular basis, something that Liverpool can’t currently offer.
It is understandable that Liverpool fans were disappointed to lose such a prodigious talent, and he’ll inevitably be subject to some abuse from the visiting supporters on Saturday. He has the mental fortitude to deal with it though, and I suspect he has no regrets about the move.