Monday, 28 September 2015
Thursday, 24 September 2015
This summer marked a mass exodus for Manchester City with many players leaving the club. Specifically, the Citizens saw a wholesale number of English as well as home grown players exit the club for newer pastures. Reliable British players like James Milner and Frank Lampard, academy graduates like Karim Rekik, Dedryck Boyata and Marcos Lopes along with aspiring players like Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards all called time on their City careers
Manuel Pellegrini and his team have responded to this by spending more than a 150 million pounds in the summer. And about one third of it spent on English blood in Raheem Sterling. Was it spent wisely? Can such mass spending be justified even in the goal of bringing in English players to fulfill the quota of homegrown players required for a club? This article takes a look Sterling’s signing and whether he has what it takes to succeed at the Etihad. Was he bought just to fill up the numbers or to actually have a general impact on the team?
For City, getting a young player of his caliber is indeed a great feat. Sterling is known for his no-fear, direct running style at defenders that was a top priority for a club that was criticized last season for a lack of width and movement. He is a player with the willingness to commit defenders, quick feet and a good dribbling technique. In the 2014-15 season City often lacked that urgency in their game play and now they have Sterling to offer pace, trickery and guile.
It is not that City “lacked players with pace” because there are players like Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas who are meant to provide that to the team. But this tool of pace and trickery wasn’t always in abundance because of Aguero’s poor injury record and Navas often being a one-dimensional player. But, now with Sterling, they have a player who ticks most of these boxes for City and offers the extra dimension that the team needs. Being only 20 years old, Sterling offers a fresher look to the ageing City side.
Sterling’s versatility is another factor that can make him a valuable asset for the City side. His ability to play multiple different positions is in stark contrast to Navas who often almost always sticks to the right side touchline during games. He has played almost every position across the field from striker to right wing back. The central attacking role behind two high profile strikers (Suarez and Sturridge) got the best out of Sterling.