Has Raheem Sterling lived up to his £49 million price tag?

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It's not easy to deal with a price tag, especially one worth £49 million, but how has Raheem Sterling handled it so far?

The Sterling saga raged on for the best part of eight months, eventually, the inevitable happened and he joined Premier League powerhouse Manchester City in July.

At the time, people gasped for breath when they saw the fee, but how extortionate does the price seem now, nearly six months since his move from Liverpool?


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Nine goals and six assists in all competitions is probably the least Manchester City would expect. The highlight of that goal tally being his hat-trick against Bournemouth in October.

If he were to repeat those stats in the second half of the season, to take his total up to 18 goals and 12 assists, then that would probably be reasonable for a debut season.

Compare that to his City teammates, Sterling has scored more than David Silva (two) and Jesus Navas, who has yet to score this season.

However, Silva has assisted more (eight) than the former Liverpool forward, while Navas has assisted one fewer than Sterling.

Kevin de Bruyne on the other hand, has topped the City winger in all departments, scoring 11 times and setting up 14 goals. Yet, he did reportedly cost between five and £10 million more than the English international.

Putting Sterling's statistics and price tag into context, Riyad Mahrez, who cost Leicester a reported £400,000, has scored five more times than the former QPR player. Looking at that statement, £49 million hardly represents value for money.


You can't just look at the stats to tell the whole story, however. After all, it's trophies City fans are interested in, not the number of goals they score.

If City go and win the Premier League they could pocket over £100 million. That's twice Sterling's fee. So essentially the former Liverpool winger could pay it back easily this season.

If the Citizens manage to win the Champions League, although it is unlikely, they could earn over £70 million. Once again, easily a good return for the investment in Sterling.

The key thing to look at though will be the impact that Sterling has had on each competition. Let's imagine the City winger got injured and didn't play again this season, but City still managed to win the league title.

Yes, City would have earned more than double what Sterling cost the club, but five Premier League goals and two assists would hardly represent a significant contribution to winning the title and so the amount spent wouldn't be worth it in this scenario.

Then again, in the games in which Sterling was on the score sheet, he was the first goalscorer. That's something that should be taken into consideration.

If he hadn't have scored the decisive first goal, City might not have won those matches, and that would have meant the Sky Blues would be even further away from the top of the table.

While huge revenues can be earned from winning this season's competitions, it's the influence that Sterling has in games which will be the yardstick to judge whether he can be regarded as a success.

Impact on City and Liverpool

You can see the pace that Sterling has injected into Manuel Pellegrini's side and the lack of it in Liverpool's. In the 2014-15 season, City became too predictable, David Silva cutting inside from the left and Aleksandar Kolarov overlapping.

Although that has been a nature of City's play so far this season, it hasn't been their only option. Sterling stretches the play. He gives the likes of Silva and De Bruyne time to pick a killer pass.

Not only that, but when Sergio Aguero is injured, which is a regular occurrence, Wilfried Bony's lack of pace is made up for by Sterling's. Teams can't afford to play a high defensive line, knowing the former Liverpool winger can run in behind.

The impact on Liverpool is noticeable too. Without Sterling, the Reds are generally paceless and predictable. Jordon Ibe, has some pace, but is young and lacks the end product, while Daniel Sturridge is usually on the physio table.

Jurgen Klopp's side struggle to break teams down because of the lack of movement ahead of Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana. Nonetheless, Liverpool did manage to comfortably win at Anfield, but that was more of a defensive problem by City than the attacking brilliance of the Reds.

It is probably too early to tell whether the Sterling deal was worthwhile for the City manager. He will need to keep up his goal scoring and assist tallies and make sure that converts into major honours.

Nevertheless, it looks like so far he is on the right track to shrug off that incredible price tag.

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Manchester City
Raheem Sterling
Premier League

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