Raheem Sterling admits he has a “problem” with the manner of his Liverpool departure – but has wished his former club well for the new season.
“I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field”. The Northern Irishman came agonizingly close to delivering the Premier League title in 2013-14 and finished seventh in 2012-13. “He can improve his game and improve us as a team”.
“I’ve experienced some incredible low times in my career with injuries and at one point even questioned whether I would even return to Premiership level”.
City’s interest in Sterling had been an open secret for some time, but the Reds were desperate to retain his services as they braced themselves for an approach. Raheem Sterling is not Scott Sinclair or Jack Rodwell, he is the reigning victor of the European Golden Boy award.
Berger, also critical of Liverpool’s failure to give long-term skipper Steven Gerrard a new contract, said the pressure was on manager Brendan Rodgers to deliver some silverware after failing to win a trophy in his three years at Anfield.
Breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules led to limits on City’s spending a year ago, but those restrictions have been lifted after losses were cut at the Etihad Stadium – enabling the club to invest so much in signing Sterling.
The player also had reportedly said to the manager Brendan Rodgers he does not want to play for him, yet another reason to force his way out and days later was granted his move to Manchester City, where he becomes English football’s first 100 million GBP man.
Sterling’s decision to swap life at Anfield for the blue half of Manchester this week – for an initial £44million rising to £49m – will earn the Hoops up to nearly £10million because of a 20 per cent sell-on clause built into the deal which took him to Liverpool back in 2010.
And City boss Manuel Pellegrini was delighted with the signing, telling City’s official website: “Fabian Delph is an excellent player and I am looking forward to working with him”. I don’t think Sterling will make regular first team anyway when he starts the season with them. He was creating an average of 2.2 chances per 90 minutes last term – more than any other Reds player – and will expect to go better again in a City shirt this year.
The pacy winger will fly out to join his new team mates, who are on a pre-season tour in Australia.