Manuel Pellegrini has spoken in public on the subject of the Raheem Sterling signing for the first time.
Journalists quizzed the City boss on the club’s newest acquisition at a press conference arranged to promote Saturday’s historic clash with Melbourne City on the Gold Coast.
The Chilean revealed that he is delighted to have a player of Sterling’s and highlighted the youngster’s speed and versatility as important new attributes in the makeup of his squad.
“I think that Raheem can play in different positions – he can play as a forward because he has a lot of speed or he can play also on the wing,” Pellegrini declared.
“He’s a very young player so he has a lot of things to improve. I think it’s important for him to have a new challenge in our team where he will play with great players which will improve his game. He will also improve us as a team.
“I think that Raheem has already demonstrated what he can do as a player at Liverpool but he’s just 20-years old so he has a lot of things to improve.
“It will depend how he works over the next few years but I am sure he will be very important in our team, especially for his speed.”
Manuel unsurprisingly ruled the new signing out of contention for the game against Melbourne City as Sterling only arrived in Australia on Thursday evening.
“He just arrived … so he must work the same as all the international players that are just starting to work this week,” he said.
“Maybe in the next week he will be play a bit."
Pellegrini was also questioned on Sterling's price tag.
The 61-year old was pragmatic on the subject and stated his belief that to stay competitive in the Premier League, you must invest to improve your squad every year.
“We must continue to have a competitive team," he asserted.
"I always say there are four or five important teams, so if you don’t improve every year it’s very difficult.
“The price is so difficult to see – it depends on the performance of the player in the next years. Every time you need a player the price is very high – not just for City, but for every team.
“The price is not the most important thing – the most important thing is to choose the player you need.”
Vincent Kompany, who also appeared at the press conference alongside Melbourne boss John van’t Schip and skipper Patrick Kisnorbo, reemphasised his pleasure at Sterling’s arrival.
He said: “I’d rather play with him than against him.
“He’ll fit in really well in our team – everyone in our team is buzzing that we’re getting such a good player in our team. Whatever he needs, we’ll be there to help him.
“I can guarantee you he’s going to feel at home very quickly here and we’re all eager to see him perform like he can.
“Raheem has proven so many times that he’s an incredible talent and he’s been welcomed like he should be.”
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