After a long running saga as Raheem Sterling and his agent Aidy Ward pushed for a move away from Liverpool and then a thankfully short negotiation with Manchester City, and following the successful completion of a medical earlier today, the 20-year-old England winger has officially completed his transfer.
Sterling has reportedly signed a £200k per week, five-year deal with the Citizens, who will pay Liverpool a guaranteed £44M plus potentially a further £5M in add-ons for the player. QPR, Sterling’s former club, will be owed £20% of the base fee as well as a further 20% of any add-ons City end up having to pay in the end.
The youngster arrived at Anfield in 2010, signed by Rafa Benitez for an initial fee of £600k rising to £5M with add-ons. He made his senior debut in March of 2012, coming off the bench against Wigan Athletic. The next season, he made 24 league appearances. All told, Sterling has played 129 games for Liverpool and scored 23 goals.
Though not a poor return, it isn’t one of a player worth near enough £50M or £200k a week, numbers that speak to Sterling’s status as the brightest English talent of his generation and one of Europe’s most promising youngsters. Promising, though, remains a key qualifier, and Sterling remains far from the finished product.
Sterling has the talent to become world class, but if he failed to do so he certainly wouldn’t be the first player who didn’t manage to live up to expectations. For that kind of fee and those wages, though, an instant impact will be expected, and if he doesn’t make it he could find himself very quickly under massive pressure at City.
With many in the press having turned on Sterling in recent months, things could quickly get ugly if he doesn’t hit the ground running. That possibility, though, is now something for Sterling and his new club to worry about and for Liverpool to wash their hands of as they seek to move on from the sale of another valuable asset.
Raheem Sterling is, officially, no longer a Liverpool player, and while it would be going too far for Liverpool fans to wish him ill as he moves forward in his career, few will go out of their way to wish him well.