Manchester City opened up the wallet and splashed the cash on Liverpool’s young star Raheem Sterling. City and Liverpool have reach an agreement for $76 million for the 20-year-old winger. But is Sterling really worth that kind of money?
The initial payment for Sterling is said to be around $68 million and then the rest is in future add-ons. Sterling has played three full seasons with Liverpool and has 18 goals in 95 Premier League games. Sure, he’s a young player that is already a part of the English national team, but the amount of money City paid for Sterling is a bit absurd.
Sterling has been very inconsistent throughout his young career. If you look at other transfers this summer, City’s rivals Manchester United just brought in Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich for around $22 million. Schweinsteiger is the German national team captain, has won the World Cup, the Champions League and a bucket-full of Bundesliga titles. Yes, he’s 30 years old, and a central midfielder, but the value of buying from outside the British Isles is pretty apparent. It should be noted that Schweinsteiger only had one year left on his deal with Bayern and Sterling had two years left on his deal with Liverpool and that also plays a factor to why the price is so high.
Young English players always go for a premium, but it’s safe to say that they are overvalued due to the fact that they count towards the homegrown allocation, where teams need a certain number of players that has been playing youth soccer in England, and the amount of money that the Premier League clubs get from the TV-rights. If Sterling was Spanish or German or French and didn’t play for a top club, he would cost nowhere near $76 million.
City has the financial resources, so it’s not like they have to sell players in order to balance the books, but it doesn’t help the transfer market in England as will keep the price of English players bloated.
Sterling will need to start performing week in and week out for City if he’s to live up to the giant price tag. He will also be a very wealthy man as reports say that he will earn just over $300,000 per week. So it’s a huge investment from City’s part to bring him over, and the owners and the coaching staff will want to see that investment pay off.
Sterling has some exceptional talents, and is a great dribbler that can get past his man on the wing, but he will now have to try and adjust to a new system and new teammates. And he better figure it all out quickly as the patience for such a big signing is usually pretty short. Unless he comes in and dominates from day one, the fans might sour and wonder why the club decided to pay all this money for a player that doesn’t win them points.
This saga has been ongoing for a while and Sterling made it clear at the end of last season that he wanted to move away from Anfield. Liverpool rejected several bids from City during the summer, but this final offer hit the sweet spot. It allows Liverpool to bolster the lineup, despite already having signed several players this summer, and it’s believed that they will go after Aston Villa’s striker Christian Benteke.
Sterling asked to be left off the Liverpool squad that is traveling to Asia and Australia for a pre-season tour. He rejected a contract offer from Liverpool last season that would pay him $155,000 per week, and he called out sick twice last week and missed training.
It should just be some formalities before the deal is wrapped up as Sterling needs to pass a medical and then sign his contract with City.
The team that might be the most happy over this deal is Queens Park Rangers, the club that Sterling represented before going to Liverpool, as they are said to be getting 20 percent of the transfer fee.