Raheem Sterling’s “inevitable” big-money move to Manchester City represents a good deal for Liverpool, according to the editor of a leading fanzine.
The winger swapped Merseyside for Manchester on Tuesday in a deal that could reportedly rise to be worth £49million, making Sterling the most expensive English player of all time.
And, with the 20-year-old having been left at home for Liverpool’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia on Monday, Gareth Roberts of The Anfield Wrap concedes the deal was always going to go through.
He told Perform: “It was inevitable wasn’t it? It’s been going on for about three or four months now that he wanted out.
“I accepted it a while back that it was going to happen. It seemed to me that it was essentially haggling over £10million that it came down to.
“The fact that Liverpool have got it out into the public domain one way or another that he had a £50million price tag on his head, that’s a very different statement to saying he’s not for sale.
“At that point I could see where that was going. City seemed determined to get him, as soon as the football was over they were putting an offer in. It’s clear they wanted him and that he was a top target for them.”
But Roberts believes Liverpool can feel satisfied with the money they will receive for Sterling.
“It’s a big fee for a 20-year-old player who hasn’t got a great deal of first-team football under his belt, albeit he is a good player,” he added.
“I think you have to say who else in world football would be prepared to pay that fee for Sterling?
“If there was interest, no one else seemed to follow it up once that price tag was mentioned, it was only ever City. You have to say no other club would pay that, we’ve taken a huge fee for a 20-year-old player.
“The other side to the coin is that you can have the biggest fees in the world – we got £75million for Luis Suarez last season and look at the campaign that followed.
“It’s all well and good having the money but what gets lost in this is that we’ve lost a first-team player. A player who was in the starting XI, and we’ve lost a player who is a potential match-winner, potential game-changer.”