It was a transfer that left Liverpool supporters outraged. A move that smashed the British transfer record at the time.
“I’ve just had to learn and take it all in my stride but I never imagined I’d be at this point at the age I am now and breaking a British transfer record fee,” Sterling said upon switching to Manchester City in the summer of 2015 for £ 50million. “The world-class players that are here and a squad that are capable of winning things year in, year out.”
That last line essentially summed up his reason for joining the financial powerhouse of Man City. Winning trophies. Let’s be honest, it’s a young footballers’ dream, isn’t it? To win everything available to them at club level.
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That hasn’t quite been the case, with Sterling still missing the UEFA Champions League from his growing list of major honors. However, four Premier Leagues, an FA Cup, five League Cups and two Super Cups is not too bad.
Sterling was 20-years-old at the time of joining Manchester City. He pushed through a move to the Etihad Stadium with Liverpool keen to keep him at the time. The England international was determined to make the switch to Manchester and his decision (see above for his major honors list) has been more than vindicated.
Now, though, at 27, Sterling has a different dilemma on his hands and one that is set to be spoken about extensively over the next few weeks, or even months. Chelsea are interested in the City attacker and have identified him as one of their main targets this summer, football.london understands.
The Blues, though, are not alone. Real Madrid are also interested in Sterling – and why wouldn’t they be? The Jamaican-born England winger has 109 Premier League goals to his name in just over 300 appearances. He’s a proven goalscorer, who is theoretically about to enter his peak years.
Sterling pushing through a move away from Liverpool seven years ago is completely different to the situation he finds himself in right now. At the moment, Sterling is on the search for regular football at an elite level. He isn’t guaranteed that under Pep Guardiola at Man City.
The newly-crowned Premier League champions recently signed Erling Haaland, who will add to their already star-studded attack next season. Gabriel Jesus looks set to leave, but Guardiola will still have the options of £ 100m Jack Grealish, a superb Bernardo Silva, the maverick Riyad Mahrez, the ever-improving Phil Foden and the exciting Julian Alvarez, who will join up with his new City team-mates for the first time in pre-season.
It just makes it more difficult than ever for Sterling to establish himself as a weekly starter for City, who have tended to rotate heavily under Guardiola anyway. That’s why Chelsea could be an attractive proposition for Sterling. He could come into the attack and be one of, if not the, main attacker (s).
It’s a new challenge and a return to London, where he spent plenty of years growing up. Sterling finds himself with perhaps the biggest questions of his career so far – something that’s completely different to 2015 where he left Liverpool, but equally as important.
Sterling has clearly matured as a footballer since leaving Liverpool all those years ago. That’s evidently clear right now, with the winger actually managing talks over a transfer himself – something that shows the type of character Chelsea will be signing should they complete a deal.
According to Sky Sports, the England international believes this is the defining stage of his career and because of that, he wants to handle talks himself. With an agent taking charge of negotiations, sometimes it can be very wage and bonus-focused, but Sterling is keen to ensure he gets the best possible outcome for himself from a football-based perspective.