Tuesday 14 July 2015 06:15, UK
Raheem Sterling’s transfer fee will bring more pressure at Manchester City, says Jamie Carragher, who believes the forward is worth only around £30m.
The likely move brings to an end an ongoing saga over the 20-year-old’s future, after he said earlier in the year he would not be extending his contract at Anfield.
And Carragher says the size of the fee – which will make him the second-most expensive British footballer behind Gareth Bale – means he will be under pressure to deliver instant results.
"There will be more scrutiny on him because of the size of the fee," Carragher told Sky Sports News HQ.
"When players go for that much money there is that added pressure.
"He’s still a young player – he’s going to have ups and downs. At Liverpool, sometimes he was outstanding, but in the second half of last season he tailed off a bit as all young players do.
"The same thing will happen at Man City because he’s still only young. That was my argument for him to maybe stay another two or three years at Liverpool, to gain maturity not just as a person but as a player in the performances.
"Now he’s moved there will be more eyes on him, of course, but let’s not forget he’s still a young player. Over the next two or three years hopefully we’ll be talking more about Sterling on the pitch than off it, as we have been the last few months."
Raheem Sterling – at this stage of his career and what he’s done up to now – he’s possibly worth around £30m.
City midfielder James Milner has already moved in the other direction, as one of Manuel Pellegrini’s few English players left the Etihad Stadium.
And Carragher believes the 2013/14 champions’ desire to invest in home-grown talent means they have had to pay more than they probably should.
"There’s no doubt it’s a fantastic fee, but there’s no doubt that Raheem Sterling has the ability and the potential, which is what Man City are buying more than anything at this stage,” he added.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has denied there has been any fall-out with Raheem Sterling.
"He could go on and be a fantastic player for club and country. In the next three or four years, if Sterling can take City to a couple of Premier League titles, more success in the Champions League, they will say he’s been worth it.
"The fact they don’t have many English players at the club, that’s added to the price.
"Raheem Sterling – at this stage of his career and what he’s done up to now – he’s possibly worth around £30m.
"I think the extra money comes from the fact that Man City are so desperate for English players, and Liverpool have exploited that."
Carragher believes the club have done well to command such a high price for Sterling, and the former Reds defender praised the owners for their firm stance.
But the Sky Sports pundit also admits the club need to start finding a way of keeping its star men if they are to challenge for titles in the future.
"From Liverpool’s point of view, it’s a great fee – you can’t deny that," he added.
"Longer term, you’ve got to be worried that you’re losing some of your best players, and one of your young players.
"It was difficult for Liverpool to keep Sterling – it was difficult for them to keep Luis Suarez. Both different situations, but both wanted to move on – it’s very difficult to stop that.
"I think the owners of the club have done very well in the transfer fees that they’ve got. Since they’ve come to the club they’ve been very strong, showing that you can’t come in and take players for not much money, so credit to them for that.
"But the longer they’re here, the owners of the club want Liverpool to be successful, challenging for trophies, and to do that you need to keep your best players.
"So although Liverpool have got a great fee for Sterling and last year for Suarez, longer term they’ve got to be thinking about how they can keep these players."