Makasa’s Musings: England’s Golden Boy – Raheem Sterling

Once known as the future for Liverpool Football Club, Raheem Sterling now plays his football for Manchester City. Signed by then Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez from the academy of Queens Park Rangers, Sterling was signed with the potential to thrive at Anfield. He terrorised defences whilst playing for the Liverpool academy and it wasn’t too long before he was called up to the first team for action. His initial fee from Queens Park Rangers was £600,000 rising up to £5 million, depending on performances at Liverpool. His style of play is noted as driving down the wings, running at defenders and his pace is the cherry on top of the cake.

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The hot question is, has Raheem Sterling improved as a player since making his big money move to The Etihad? Has he justified his switch of red colours to blue, claiming he ‘wants to win trophies’. Is he playing a vital role in helping Manchester City towards the Premier League title and other cups? Or would Manchester City have managed without him? To answer this question I have stats with me, stats reflect whether a player is justifying their actual role in the team. For example, a striker’s job is to score, therefore a good goal scoring record or good goal to game ratio are stats that prove he’s doing his job. The same applies to a goal keeper with clean sheets, etc. Sterling’s stats that matter are whether he scores and assists his team mates.

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If one thing is for sure, Sterling is a good dribbler. His pace is a major plus but his over willingness let’s him down at times. He feels a need to want to dribble too much, or do too much, instead of sticking the ball in the box for his team mates. Apart from that, he needs to be more lethal in front of goal. It doesn’t help to be in the right place at the right time to score (as an attacking midfielder or winger) and not finish the job. This was how Raheem Sterling was seen at Liverpool. However at Manchester City, he seems to be a bit more confident, less panicky, more composed and a better finisher to some degree. Is this supposed to happen since he has more pressure at a so called ‘bigger club’ or does this show he’s come of age and matured?

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On 24th March 2012, Sterling made his Premier League debut for Liverpool, and he’s definitely grown since then. The highest point of his Liverpool career was arguably the 2013-14 season in which he had a couple of great spells. Scoring two goals in two games against Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City, scoring a brace against Arsenal at Anfield in a 5-1 victory and scoring the opening goal against his current employers Manchester City on which Liverpool won 3-2. It was inevitable that he would go on to win Liverpool’s Young Player of the Year Award. Although season 2014-15 was more quiet in terms of scoring and assisting, Sterling still put in strong performances to win the Golden Boy award in December 2014 and win Liverpool’s Young Player of the Year Award consecutively.

Money dispute came into question as an offer of £100,000 a week wasn’t enough to tempt young Sterling to stay and renew his contract at Anfield. Big money has a habit of turning young heads (unlucky Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell) and it worked again as Manchester City offered Sterling a bumper contact to the £35, 000 he was earning a week. He was signed by Manchester City from Liverpool for £49 million in July 2015.

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With these final Premier League stats, you can assess whether Raheem Sterling has improved as a player, and is helping Manchester City move forward, or whether he wasn’t truly needed. Mind you Liverpool had the last laugh as they did beat Manchester City 1-4 away at the Etihad Stadium this season.

2011-12 Sterling made 3 appearances and had 0 goals and 0 assists.

2012-13 Sterling made 23 appearances and scored 2 goals, with 2 assists.

2013-14 Sterling made 33 league appearances, scoring 9 goals, with 5 assists.

2014-15 Sterling made 35 league appearances, scoring 7 goals, with 7 assists.

Currently in the 2015-16 season he is at Manchester City, and has 14 appearances with 4 goals and 2 assists to his name. However he has 3 goals in 6 Champions League games, with 1 assist compared to his 8 appearances with no goals or assists in the 2014-15 season. I conclude by saying Sterling has improved at Manchester City as a player but I doubt they needed him at all. They would still be as strong as De Bruyne has been their star player. Sterling will find it tough to play more often once Samir Nasri is back from injury, unless Nasri is unfavoured. Sterling in my opinion won’t get much better than what he already is, which is sad as he’s reaching his peak a bit too early. You can catch Raheem Sterling in action for Manchester City on Monday night football against Arsenal at The Emirates.


 

KCvsJyMZ By Makasa Musonda Junior on 19/12/2915 at 20:50 @MakasaJunior

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