Raheem Sterling has finally completed his long sought after move from Liverpool. Manchester City paid an unprecedented £49M for the 20-year-old, making him the most expensive English player ever. Today I am going to look at all the angles of the transfer, from the Saga as a whole, to whether it was a good transfer for both sides.
Sterling has wanted out of Liverpool for a while now. They offered him £100,000 a week, but he declined and instead sent in a transfer request. While Liverpool finished close runners up in the 2013-14 season, they flopped into 6th place, a full eight points behind Manchester United in the last Champions League spot. It comes as no surprise, then, that Sterling wants to go somewhere where he can win some trophies. It’s just a shame that he had to go about it in such a shameful way. Part of the problem is his agent, but he could have been much more graceful. When he was named Liverpool’s young player of the season, the fans booed him.
Several teams showed interest despite this. Manchester United showed very early interest, but refused to pay Liverpool’s asking price. Arsenal then looked into Sterling, but they too decided the price was too high as well. Manchester City then looked into him. They were looking for homegrown players, and since he is one, he fits the bill. After getting two bids rejected, they finally bought him. He is certainly more expensive than he should be, but since City will play in both the Premier League and the Champions League next season, money is not a big issue.
Manchester City need Sterling. They had just two homegrown players on their team last season, Joe Hart and Richard Wright, who is 37 and has no appearances for the Blues. After failing to buy Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, Sterling is a decent alternative. He is homegrown, has Premier League and Champions League experience, and is only 20. Excluding the price, which as stated before isn’t that big a deal, this is the perfect buy to strengthen City’s team.
Liverpool have just lost a big star. Now they will recover by buying tons of players with the money, who will pretty much all be failures, and proceed to not put up a title challenge. Sound familiar? That’s because that’s what happened last season with Luis Suarez. Now Liverpool have another large stack of money, but will they spend it wisely? Last year, they spent and spent, only for many of their big name signings, such as Mario Balotelli, to completely flop
. Brenden Rodgers was at one point considered a genius, but now that can’t be said as much. Liverpool, rather than buy the players they need to fill in holes in their squad, have instead gone on a signing spree, buying anyone they can, with the likes of Manchester City’s James Milner, Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne, Burnley’s Danny Ings, and Hoffenheim’s Roberto Firmino already joining. Whether Rodgers can make them into a strong team is up for debate, but the answer is looking like no.
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The whole transfer saga as a whole puts another issue into light. English players tend to get way over valued in the Premier League, no matter how old they are. Wayne Rooney cost Manchester United £25.6M in 2004, at the age of only 18. While this deal ended up paying off, others haven’t. Andy Carroll was brought to Liverpool to replace Fernando Torres, costing £35M, at the age of 21. He ended up totally flopping, and now plays for West Ham United. Tottenham Hotspurs are asking for £25M for 21-year-old sensation Harry Kane. Despite not even being on the first team at the start of the season. He is widely untested, but that won’t stop many of the biggest clubs looking into buying him. The Premier League forces teams to have homegrown players, meaning they either came through an English Team’s youth system, or be English. This puts English players at a much higher value.
I will stop ranting now, but it’s just so frustrating at how much value is put on largely untested players, just because they are English. Raheem “Money Man” Sterling is no exception. He needs to succeed at Manchester City, because otherwise both he and City will look like fools, and Liverpool will look good. And nobody wants Liverpool to look good.