So Manchester City paid Liverpool £49 million for Raheem Sterling. So What? The weird uproar spreading through the Internet about this transfer is ignoring some basic facts and guidelines that make the price a very reasonable one.
English players cost more money. Clubs need a certain quote of home grown players on their squad, through the club and in the same country. As English football and especially the Premier League becomes more and more reliant on foreign talent, the talented English players become more valuable and expensive.
Youth and Potential Cost Money
Sterling is only 20. He’s already been capped 16 times for England and played in the World Cup. He was a key figure in Liverpool’s run to the title in 2014 and has played a major role for them last season to differing success. He is one of the best U-21 players in the world. That costs money.
Old Prices Mean Nothing
The memes comparing Sterling’s price to Zinedine Zidane in 2001 or the Arsenal invincible squad from 2004 or even Juventus’ players from last season’s Champions League final are hiding the truth from people. The £49 million paid for him isn’t the same £49 million paid for someone 15 years ago. Italian footballers and league doesn’t have the spending power the Premier League has. No league in the world can compete with the inflation of footballer’s price tags in the bubble known as the Premier League. Maybe four other clubs can (Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Real Madrid) but they’re not indicative of their leagues.
Liverpool Weren’t in a Rush; Manchester City Were
And then there’s the business side to it. Despite Sterling doing everything in his power to disconnect himself from the club, Liverpool never felt pressured to sell him. The same thing happened with Luis Suarez, who tried to force his way out of the club in 2013 and ended up almost doubling his value and carrying the team to a remarkable season before getting sold to Barcelona. Liverpool have made mistakes with their signings, tactic and pretty much everything here and there for the last few seasons. But this ownership group is calm and calculated. While they do make mistakes, they won’t let agents with influence have their way with the club’s decisions.
This is Manchester City
Teams are always going to cause Manchester City to overpay. That is what happens when you have zero youth setup and rely solely on the money of your owners and outside talent, with everyone knowing it. You’re going to get fleeced.