Raheem Sterling - Player Profile

City Need Sterling To Prove His Worth Against Chelsea

Personal information
Full name: Raheem Shaquille Sterling
Date of birth: 8 December 1994 
Age: 20
Place of birth: Kingston, Jamaica
Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) 
Playing position: Winger 

Club information
Current team: Manchester City 

Youth career

2003–2010: Queens Park Rangers 
2010–2012: Liverpool

Senior career

2012–2015: Liverpool 129 Appearances, 23 goals
2015– Manchester City 1 Appearance, 0 goals

National team

2009 – 2010 England U16 - 9 Appearances, 1 goals
2010 – 2011 England U17 - 13 Appearances, 3 goals
2012 – England U19 - 1 Appearance, 0 goals 
2012 – England U21 - 8 Appearances, 3 goals
2012 – England 16 Appearances, 1 goal 

Just a few weekes ago, Raheem Sterling, at just 20, became Man City’s record signing and the most expensive Englishman in history. Few would argue that £49 million is value for money for a player with fewer than 100 Premier League appearances to his name.

But even at £49 million, City see the long-term sense in investing in Sterling and their track record of being similarly bold with Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero – all of whom have handsomely repaid their transfer fees at the Etihad –highlights their confidence in the England youngster. Some have cited his age as a reason against paying £49m for his services, but as an established Premier League player at just 20, he does not represent much of a risk at all. Furthermore, surrounded by the players City have, he could go on to develop into the truly world class player he patently has the potential to become. Indeed, Sterling could be perfect for Manchester City but, equally, City could be the perfect fit for him.

Sterling’s value to City is undoubtedly mushroomed by their need to add players that qualify as ‘homegrown’ to a largely overseas-bred squad and what is more, he could be the perfect fit in Manuel Pellegrini’s attack. Able to play in any position across the front line, Sterling would provide support for Aguero alongside Silva and one of Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas or Toure. He would add something new to their attack, too. Sterling combines dribbling and pace in a way that few others can. He made 233 dribble attempts in Premier League games last season, the third most behind Eden Hazard and Yannick Bolasie, successfully beating his opponent on 103 occasions, the fourth highest tally. In both columns he is a significant distance ahead of any City player.

Silva might well have a better touch than Sterling, but he cannot leave a player for dead like the former Liverpool man, and while Navas might well be the quicker, he struggles in tight situations where Sterling might worm his way out. Nasri, meanwhile, is simply too inconsistent for a team with title aspirations. He played a significant role in the 2012 and 2014 Premier League triumphs but was decidedly poor for much of last season. City's attack could do with some fresh blood. Sterling only ranked behind Hazard and Silva in terms of chances created from open play last season, laying on 75, and he would surely improve on the seven assists he managed last season with forwards like Aguero and Wilfried Bony to provide for. He may, too, improve on his seven goals. Sterling was utterly brilliant in a blistering forward line alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, and there is every reason to believe he could play to that level surrounded by world class players. Also, having been fouled some 94 times across the 2014-15 Premier League season – the second most, again behind Hazard – Sterling would surely win plenty more free-kicks in dangerous areas.

What can he bring to the team that might make the difference between runners-up and champions and, perhaps, progressing to a later stage in Europe?  He is hungry and ambitious. You can see it when he plays: he wants that ball, and he’s unafraid of holding on to it as he runs at people. Sterling is lightning fast and he will speed things up for the rest of the team: this injection of pace might be exactly what Man City need, giving the team another dimension to their game. He is young, immature, but has a good team around him who can keep his feet on the ground, and physio’s to keep them on the pitch… City will see Sterling as a player who can bring success to the Etihad for the next decade and if he does, nobody will even remember his fee. Sometimes, it pays to write the big cheques. Quality does not come cheaply, but in the end, it is worth every penny.