Raheem Sterling became the third most expensive signing in Premier League history as Manchester City splashed $75 million to snap up the winger from Liverpool.
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The England international has come under plenty of criticism of late after not turning up for the opening days of Liverpool’s preseason due to illness and apparently refusing to go on a preseason tour with the Reds. All of that was said to be part of his plan to push through a move to City and now the 20-year-old has got his wish, as he is the most expensive English player in soccer history.
Plenty of pressure for the young attacker, but he has negotiated every hurdle so far in his fledgling career with ease.
In his first interview as a City player, posted on their website on Monday here, Sterling said he was “glad it’s all over and done with” in regards to his protracted transfer from Liverpool and he hailed the Citizens’ current squad and their quality.
“It’s a good feeling and this is really happy time for me and my family,” Sterling said. “I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field. The thing that excites me the most is the world class squad we have and knowing we have a team that is capable of winning things year in, year out. The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.”
Reflecting on his career to date he had quite a long list of people to thank for getting him to this point. Including his former manager at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, despite plenty of rumors about a rift between the two.
“It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way,” Sterling said. “I’d like to thank Rafa Benitez for taking me to Liverpool as a 15 year-old – that was a massive step for me and a new challenge. Also to Kenny Dalglish for showing such faith in me and putting me in at such a young age. I want to thank Brendan Rodgers for giving me a chance and an opportunity in the first team, giving me my full debut – against City funnily enough – and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents.”
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Sterling’s talent is undoubted after winning the prestigious Golden Boy award in 2013-14 which is given to the best young player in European soccer each season. He has burst onto the scene with Liverpool and the English national team over the past two seasons, scoring goals and terrorizing defenders with his pace and trickery. Those qualities will boost City’s offensive options and fans of the Citizens will be eager to see how Sterling links up with the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
The youngster will now link up with his new teammates in Australia, as Manuel Pellegrini has a top class talent to help his side chase down Chelsea for the Premier League title in 2015-16.