Years ago, paying millions for a single player was unheard of. Nowadays, the main way to get a player is by spending millions. Yet since the game has endorsed the multi-million pound owners that run football clubs, no transfer window has sent as many shock waves as this years. With a £5.14bn television deal being shared between Premier League clubs, it was inevitable that this year would be a big spending one.
Middle to low league sides started splashing cash on players of Europa League Esq while those around 10th purchased World Cup stars such as Shaqiri (Stoke City) and Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United). With such impressive spending further down the league, the top teams had to reply. Chelsea purchased Pedro, United got a Depay/ Van-Gaal reunion while Liverpool signed Benteke and Firmino with money made from the player this article is focused around. Raheem Sterling.
Man City spent over £100m on both Sterling and De Bruyne with their individual fees dwarfing the transfers made by mid table clubs. De Bruyne’s move happened through his startling form and correct attitude to football since being ditched by Chelsea. Sterling’s move came from the polar opposite.[interaction id=”56433727f6c9d2ed1d40736b”]
Epitomizing the main problem with talented English youngsters, Sterling reportedly wanted to become one of Liverpool’s top earners, receiving a 6 digit weekly wage, before his outspoken agent, Aidy Ward, claimed the former QPR player wouldn’t sign a £900,000 wage at Liverpool. The Reds were fighting a losing battle, Sterling was on his way through the exit doors the moment he completed his infamous unauthorized and controversial interview.
Sterling eventually moved to Manchester City with £49m going the other way. Since his move to the Etihad, Sterling has mixed with the likes of David Silva, Aguero and Toure while also meeting with England team mates Joe Hart and Fabian Delph.
He gains the benefit of spending his developmental and peak stage of his career surrounded, and being pushed harder, by world class professionals, something of which is lacking at Liverpool currently. For him, he improved no end that the debate over whether he should have moved becomes a no-brainer. Sterling correctly identified that Man City lacked attacking width and believed he had the skill to fill the void for The Citizens. He did this while also improving his chances of winning silverware.
For City, Sterling has come in and improved their overall squad quality instantly while also being a long term investment. The 20 year old certainly has time on his side to develop into a world class player. The young man won’t have the right to complain like he did at Liverpool either. City aren’t in the position where star players are leaving nor do City need to worry about not being able to offer top salaries.
Sterling has already bagged 4 goals from the left wing, 3 coming from his hat-trick against Bournemouth however. The English man has also formed an impressive connection with stand in striker Wilfried Bony. With 1 assist this season, City have acknowledge that he isn’t incisive enough yet. He’s constantly being pushed to improve. Sterling’s position, like the majority at City, is easily replaceable with the amount of finance possessed at The Etihad.
Over at Liverpool, the benefits aren’t so obvious. Losing another key squad member only emphasises their weakening power in the transfer window. However, £49m goes a long way. Sterling’s replacement was already in the ranks at Liverpool with Jordan Ibe waiting in the wings for run in the first team. His chance has finally come under Liverpool’s new manager Jurgen Klopp. He’s already scored the winning goal in Liverpool’s Europa League tie against Rubin Kazan while Klopp has stated that it’s up Jordan how far he goes in his career.
With Ibe’s current success, other benefits to Sterling’s exit have gone less noticed. The fee forced reinvestment from the FSG owners and reinvest is exactly what they did. Firstly they captured a right back of international quality in Nathaniel Clyne to fill the minor void left by the woeful Glen Johnson. Then they bought a man that can attack from anywhere in Roberto Firmino. The versatile Brazilian was courted by many big clubs last summer, but Liverpool got their man. The Brazilian has time to improve while also being part of Brazil’s national team recovery following their historic 7-1 thumping at the hands of Germany.
Finally, Liverpool bought a striker with fewer injury problems to what Sturridge has. Christian Benteke has shown what he’s capable being one of Liverpool’s nemesis’ during his time at Villa. 4 goals in 9 for The Reds isn’t the greatest of showings but as he acclimatizes to his surroundings, things can only improve. Fans will be hoping he scored the number of goals Suarez used to get over the course of the season.
A young, Kingston born, English man named Raheem Sterling caused so much anger and controversy over the summer months. Fans of both sides will come to realise the final result benefits them all, both short term or long term.
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