Raheem Sterling Hitting Right Notes For Manchester City

Sterling=Man City

When Manchester City signed Raheem Sterling for £49m this summer, I was’t unsure that it would be a great piece of business. I didn’t like how the player’s agent handled his departure from Liverpool, I thought the fee was excessive and I wasn’t convinced that Sterling was ready to hold down a first team spot at the Etihad.

But in fairness the player has actually exceeded my expectations so far and he has been one of City’s better players as they’ve climbed to top spot in the Premier League.

Whereas other creative talents such as Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri have struggled to make much of an impact with their performances, Sterling already looks a well fitted part of the team.

That was further demonstrated with his fine display during City’s 5-1 mauling over AFC Bournemouth this past weekend. Raheem himself picked up a first half hat-trick in the emphatic win over the Cherries.

So far this term, the England international has only missed one Premier League encounter and while it’s true that he still needs to find more consistency in his game (he was subbed after just forty-five minutes against Newcastle Utd) more often than not he has impressed with his willingness to attack defenders and do more for his team.

As I said there has been blips notably against Newcastle and Spurs, but we cannot forget that he’s still only twenty years old and has just joined the Man City ranks. Most young creative players struggle with consistency early on in their careers but Sterling is already showing that he is improving on that front at the Etihad.

I said after the move was finalised that the forward needed to help his teams cause with more goals and assists. Four goals in eight league appearances so far this campaign is a big plus but it also needs to continue especially with talisman Sergio Aguero suffering with injuries at the moment.

On the assists front, that still needs improving. At the moment he has only managed a solitary assist for the Citizens. But he did manage seven with Liverpool last season, so I’d imagine he’ll be aiming for double figures this time around.

His strong showing in City’s Champions League triumph away against Borussia Monchengladbach will also have fans hoping he can make a huge impact on their side this term.

The fact he can play through the middle as well as on the wings is another huge plays for the fans and City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Manager Pellegrini was full of praise for Sterling after the Bournemouth win:

“When we bought Raheem in the summer I said we are buying a 20-year-old who is very young and needs to improve. He is not a striker but he can improve his finishing and, today, he did.”

Obviously Raheem Sterling isn’t the finished article yet and still has a long way to go to prove that he really was worth the £49m that Manchester City paid out for him in the summer.

But so far he has settled in well at the Etihad and keeps showing us signs of improvement and a willingness to learn.

I’ve always said that come the end of the season he’ll be judged on three things:

  1. How many goals he can score.
  2. How many assists he can create. 
  3. Can he hold down a regular spot in Man City’s first team. 

Well in terms of goals and assists he needs to reach double figures in both columns but he has started off well on the goalscoring front.

But I think he has already proven himself to be one of the first names on the team-sheet for City and that has been a superb achievement already for the youngster!

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