City blogger Danny Pugsley provides a fan view as we welcome Raheem Sterling to the Club.
The transfer of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool to City has brought with it the inevitable criticism from many quarters.
Unfortunately we have been no stranger to some of the tired and clichéd arguments put forward when City makes a splash in the transfer market but with Sterling it seems we have gone into overdrive and irked so many.
Perhaps because we are starved of football this summer with no major tournament close to him to occupy minds that instead there is little to discuss but transfers yet is there still an element of it being stated that City have had the temerity to upset the apple cart?
Undoubtedly we are beginning to see a degree of revisionism now as to the qualities of Sterling. Yes, £49 million is some fee to pay for a twenty year old, but this is no wild gamble from City. Sterling has proven plenty over the past two seasons to more than suggest he is the most precocious English talent perhaps since Wayne Rooney.
Barely out of his teens he may be but this precociousness means he has played above and beyond his tender years. The season he put together alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in 2013/14 truly announced him on the world stage and there are not many players who get capped by England at 17. Even last season, as Liverpool struggled sans Suarez, Sterling was their standout contributor in terms of creativity.
Football now exists in a world where players routinely move for in excess of £50 million and with more and more money pouring into the game transfer fees – especially domestically – will surely continue to climb. Sterling has the next five years at City, potentially a decade or more given his age, so when we eventually look back upon his career the fee could very well look a shrewd move on City’s part.
Another lazy accusation tossed City’s way is that the squad is some sort of band of mercenaries, existing solely for the pursuit of money. Anyone who has watched City over the past few seasons can vouch for this being as far from the truth as you could imagine. How is it so inconceivable to imagine that for Sterling a move to City one to advance his career not his bank account? Look back at what City have won in the past five seasons, and what they primed to go on to achieve. Can anyone realistically make an argument that Liverpool are in a better position than City to win titles and trophies over the next decade?
Is Sterling the finished article? Not by a stretch but we all know that this is a player who is not coming to make up the numbers or is some long term project. Sterling will be expected to – and will – make an immediate impact to this City side. A potent attacking force just got that bit better.
There are many who doubt the move City have made but they do so from a far from neutral position. There are risks with any transfer that a club makes but when you weigh up the move City have made it is a calculated one – and one that we should be confident will pay dividends both in the short and longer term.