Paul Parker says Manchester City is not the right move for Raheem Sterling as he nears an exit from Liverpool.
Raheem Sterling could join Manchester City by the end of the week, according to the latest reports on Tuesday, but I think he is making a big mistake if he does move to Etihad Stadium. City just isn’t the right club for him.
[PAPER ROUND: City to sign £45m Sterling by the end of the week]
If you look at everything, Liverpool and Manchester City, as a young player there is only one club you should want to be playing for, and that’s Liverpool because of what they have achieved and what they are, and if you do go on to succeed there, the status that will give a player.
It’s no different to when I joined Manchester United and they won their first title in 26 years: what difference that makes, compared to winning the title somewhere else. It just doesn’t follow the same note. I think he’s made the wrong decision. When I look at City, I just wonder what they’re all about. They have a manager under pressure and are buying Sterling for all the wrong reasons.
City will reportedly pay £45-£50m for Sterling and that’s well overpriced for someone who hasn’t really done anything with any consistency at all, so again it’s that English player mentality: they must cost a lot of money when they haven’t really done anything that’s worthy of that price. As far as I’m concerned, City are paying well over the odds, and to be honest I don’t see going to Manchester City as a massive step forward.
It doesn’t make any difference that they are in the Champions League - they haven’t been any great shakes at all since they have been in it. And there’s no guarantee he’s going to make that difference anyway because if you look at his form for Liverpool, at the end of the day he is a poor finisher.
We know that despite all the effort he puts in, his end product is quite poor, so he’s still learning. I don’t know if he’s going to have enough time to learn at City because he’s leaving a club with a manager under pressure and joining a club with a manager under even more pressure to succeed, so he’s put himself out of the frying pan and into the fire.
I just don’t see this reported move as a forward step and for me the best club he could have gone to was Arsenal. I just feel he could learn more playing in a side like that, and from a patient manager who was proved himself with younger players, whereas Manuel Pellegrini hasn’t got as much time to waste. The City boss has to hit the ground running next season and the problem is that production-wise there isn’t a lot there.
City are in a difficult position because everyone knows they need to sign English players to fulfil their squad quota and that means they’re having to pay over the odds. I think City are buying him merely because they have to, because he’s English, not that he’s great and will make things happen for them and take them towards winning the Premier League. It’s like they think, “he’s English/British so we have to go and buy him.”
They’ve had problems in this respect in the past. They bought Scott Sinclair but he never played a game hardly, then they bought Jack Rodwell and it was the same sort of story. This is not the best place for a young English player to go to. Without a shadow of a doubt.
I do wonder where Sterling is going to play in that team, because when I’ve seen him he’s not very good at playing in behind as such, and they’ve got David Silva who can do that job. You can’t play him up top because he’s not very good as a centre-forward, where they’ve already got Sergio Aguero and they’ve still got Edin Dzeko at the moment, so where exactly is he going to play?
He could play out wide, but he is easy to mark when he plays on the wing and he hasn’t learnt enough to play in the middle. He’s a bit like Theo Walcott: as much as he wants to play through the middle he’s not the kind of player because he isn’t creative enough and can’t do the unexpected with the ball at his feet to actually play in that kind of position or role. Whether there is more chance of Sterling becoming a centre-forward than Walcott, I don’t think so.
He’s going to have to hit the ground running there just to shut a lot of people up, mainly myself because I do believe he has gone to the wrong club. I don’t know if he had much of a say but he’s gone to the wrong team, maybe with the wrong manager and the wrong ethos for someone like him at this moment in time.
The latest reports say a deal could be in place by the end of the week and that would be best for everyone because it’s not in anyone’s interests to have Sterling appearing in Liverpool’s pre-season fixtures.
Liverpool fans were booing him on the final day of the season in the Stoke defeat, but they’re idiots, because at the end of the day the decision has been made and not everyone knows the truth. Will he get stick? I’m sure he will because some people have that mentality, and because he’ll have to deal with that, so now I think he has to leave the club. The only problem is that City doesn’t feel like the right move at all.
- Source: Eurosport | by: Paul Parker