Adam Hern looks at the reasons why Manchester United should sign Raheem Sterling from Liverpool
It is no secret that Manchester United are going to be spending big this summer. Under the guidance of Louis Van Gaal, the squad will undergo a substantial transformation, with many members of the current team leaving to be replaced by huge new names in the world of football. The squad that will be assembled over the coming months will be the envy of the Premier League. Speculation has already seen many names linked to the club. From Mats Hummels, to Gareth Bale. From Edison Cavani to Petr Cech. Countless top players. Yet the one player Manchester United should go all out to try and sign, is Raheem Sterling from Liverpool.
Sterling has everything it takes to be one of the best players in the world. Over the course of the last few seasons, at the age of 20, he has played well over 100 matches for Liverpool. At Manchester United, they pride themselves on building a squad with the inclusion of young, English players. Sterling fits the bill perfectly on that front. The bonus of this being all the experience he has already accumulated. He is one of the first names that England manager Roy Hodgson chooses when he has to pick his squad selection for international matches. The fact that he is deemed too good to play for England at the Under 21 European Championships speaks volumes. Sterling was England’s only stand out performer at the World Cup in Brazil, so it would be foolish to turn down such a talented English international.
His work ethic is incredible. If he was lazy, or a poor trainer, or not deemed good enough just yet, he would have been sent out on loan by Brendan Rodgers, rather than being thrown right in at the deep end to start in a majority of matches in all competitions for Liverpool. Many people criticise his attitude, failing to remember that if he had such a bad attitude in the first place, there is no way that he would have broken into any first team in the Premier League the way he has done, let alone be a starter for his national team at a World Cup.
As a player, Raheem Sterling is exactly what United need. He has the ability to beat top players at ease, running at them with the ball as though he is taking part in a training ground exercise. Playing on the counter attack, Sterling has the ability to look up when he has the ball and play the right pass forward to a team mate. Not many players choose the correct option to pass to as much as Sterling does. Knowing the right time to distribute or run with the ball is vital in the Premier League and Sterling rarely chooses the wrong option. He is able to inject pace and set the tempo of a dead match with few clear goal scoring opportunities. His burst of speed to turn nothing into something, the way Lionel Messi does, is a joy to watch. Manchester United supporters like their players to take risks in the way they play. If something doesn’t quite come off, as long as the player doesn’t drop their head and give up, whilst carrying on trying ways to score a goal, United fans are happy. That is how Sir Alex Ferguson wanted his players to play, so we are unable to argue with that philosophy.
Louis van Gaal has openly stated that he wants his sides to play at a high tempo and with wingers, whilst dominating possession. With Memphis Depay already signed, there is no one better to play on the opposite wing, alongside Raheem Sterling’s England captain Wayne Rooney in the centre, than Sterling himself. It looks as though Antonio Valencia’s future is either away from the club, or at wing back and with Angel Di Maria flattering to deceive thus far in a United shirt, another winger is exactly what United need. With Ashley Young also in the squad, if Sterling was to sign, there would be ample talent for Manchester United to choose from down the wings.
Not since Phil Chisnall moved from Manchester United to Liverpool in 1964, has a player transferred between the two clubs. There is still a famous rivalry between the two clubs, which is why no club has been able to sign a player from one another since.
But records are there to be broken. There is no better time to break this mould than now. As a football supporter, unless you have had your head buried in the sand or your ears blocked with marzipan, you will know that Sterling seemingly wants out of Liverpool. His agent has come out to say that he will not be signing a new contract there for any some of money, so we just have to take that at face value for the time being. Liverpool can’t offer him what he wants; to challenge titles. He has seen the players they have joined the club since he has, with world class talent in Steven Gerrard and especially Luis Suarez departing and had decided that he wants to join the exodus too. All the speculation linking him to other clubs in the meantime hasn’t affected his performances at all. That just shows the nature of his character. He is strong minded enough to be able to handle the pressure. He has the personality that is required in order to make it for Manchester United. You do not make front page news, as well as the back page, for footballing reasons, if you are a bad player. Sure, it will be controversial if he was to leave Liverpool to join Manchester United, but not much more so than if he joined another British club.
Without signing Lionel Messi, it is difficult to imagine a greater statement of intent from Manchester United than if they were to get Sterling. Not that there is any doubt anyway, but it would cement United’s status as the biggest club in the country. It would show the world that they have the power to obtain the best players from their rivals. It might take £60 million for Liverpool to accept the offer from United and astronomical wages to prevent the player from moving back to a London club, but it would be money well spent. He would be adored by United supporters if he were to join. He would add so much that is currently missing to the team. Raheem Sterling would be the perfect signing for Manchester United and send shockwaves round the Premier League.
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