Raheem Sterling is worth EVERY penny of the £49m Manchester City paid for him

first_imgRaheem Sterling is enjoying himself again, which is a terrifying prospect for the rest of the Premier League.After an arduous transfer wrangle that threatened to get seriously messy by the time it reached its conclusion in mid-July, the 20-year-old appears to have found his feet again.The £49m fee Manchester City parted with for his services is eye-watering no doubt, but the opening few weeks of the new Premier League season have highlighted just why Sterling was valued so astronomically.Liverpool fans fell guilty of casting the England international as the pantomime villain, particularly after he issued a statement to confirm he wasn’t the money grabbing youngster being depicted.But, while a plethora of ex-professionals slammed Sterling’s decision to pursue an Anfield exit, the more revisionist Reds supporter will understand the loss their side has suffered.Jack Lusby, per This Is Anfield and Bleacher Report, said back in July: “Liverpool have lost a supremely talented, high-potential young player, but now they must move on without him.“In 2013/14, he joined Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in spearheading the Reds’ unexpected title charge, particularly shining during the forward pair’s drop in form in March; in 2014/15 he excelled as [Brendan] Rodgers’ Jack-of-all-trades, in wide-attacking roles, reserved-defensive roles and in a stint as a centre-forward over the turn of the year.”The SASAS triumvirate that took Liverpool so close to the title two years ago was frightening but that verve and vigour evaporated quickly in a hugely underwhelming campaign last term.Sterling’s arrival at City has created a new attacking trio for Premier League neutrals to sink their teeth into. With David Silva and Sergio Aguero terrorising opposition defences, Sterling now has team-mates to rival the unprecedented levels set by Suarez and Sturridge. Add Kevin De Bruyne to that frontline and it’s an ominous prospect. 2 2 Raheem Sterling City’s valuation of Sterling is unfathomable but, at 20, it’s an investment. The £49m works out at roughly £5m every season for the next ten years – a decade in which the forward will hope to fulfil the world class potential he currently possesses. With City set to compete on a number of fronts over the coming years, Sterling will play an integral part in their bid to harbour silverware.In summer 2012, Manchester United paid Arsenal £22m for a then 29-year-old Robin van Persie. The Dutchman was at the peak of his powers at the time and was the catalyst as United romped to the title in the subsequent season.Van Persie’s injury record hampered the rest of his United career, but the inflated transfer fee the Red Devils paid for a player with no resale value was completely justified by the magnitude of his instant impact.Sterling, similarly, has already shown signs of what he can bring to a rejuvenated City side. Extreme pace is a rare commodity but ultimately it can be the most frightening character trait of an opposition player. Sterling creates fear amongst his opponents and, as we saw during Liverpool’s title tilt, he demands more attention. Silva and Aguero are already benefiting from his arrival simply because they have more space to operate within.Aguero, the league’s best striker, and Silva, the top flight’s leading creator, will only get better with Sterling’s presence. Defences will find it near impossible to simultaneously suppress all three, which should mean one thing – goals. The England man might not grab all the headlines, but just his presence has already allowed others to.City’s new blueprint, with Sterling’s introduction a crucial component, means they will probably win the title this season, injuries dependent. They have the best-assembled squad and the 20-year-old, a European Golden Boy award winner in 2014, is emblematic of their new refreshing identity.In a summer of exorbitant transfer fees the Manchester clubs raised more than a few eyebrows. In five to ten years time, however, it is City who will be reaping the rewards from their outlays. £49m is a drop in the ocean for the City owners and given the current transfer market and the way Sterling has already transformed the Premier League leaders’ dynamic, he might just be worth every penny.last_img read more