Raheem Sterling’s agent believes the Manchester City attacker has been handed a “licence to thrill” following his transfer from Liverpool.
Sterling was involved in a £49million move to the Etihad Stadium in the off-season, with his representative Aidy Ward criticised by Liverpool fans for his role in the deal.
Ward, however, believes Sterling’s move has proved to be a correct one, with the 20-year-old having scored four goals in 11 Premier League matches.
“Raheem is in a good place,” he was quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“He is playing with better players for a manager, who gives him the freedom to express himself, and he is improving as a player in a team that is at the top of the Premier League and in the Champions League.
“He has gone up a tier. Manuel Pellegrini has played him in a wide role with the freedom to drift inside and he has also played as a central striker.
“That’s why he scored the first hat-trick of his professional career recently [against AFC Bournemouth] – all of the goals coming in the first half.”
Under former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, Sterling was utilised across multiple positions and Ward believes his client has benefited from a more attacking role.
“At Liverpool, Raheem was asked to play as a full-back, just like Emre Can was asked to play as a central defender when he is a midfielder. That wasn’t going to help him develop as a player,” he said.
“Moving to City was right for Raheem, even if Liverpool fans don’t want to accept that. At City, he now has a licence to thrill.”
Sterling will experience the discontent of the Merseyside faithful for the first time since leaving the club when City host Jurgen Klopp’s men on November 21.