43 passes, 2 shots: Manchester City’s expensive summer recruit Sterling quiet on debut

Etihad Stadium

Manchester City comfortably defeated West Bromwich Albion 3-0 on Monday night.

Manchester City’s expensive summer signing Raheem Sterling had a quiet official debut for the club despite City running out comfortable 3-0 winners at West Bromwich Albion.

The 20-year-old traded Liverpool for the Citizens this summer in a deal potentially worth £49 million, prompting plenty of outside interest and contrasting comments within the football community.

Sterling netted on his City debut in a pre-season friendly, yet on his official debut in the Premier League he didn’t quite have as much luck as he spurned a glorious opportunity to open his account.

  ShotsTake-onsWas FouledDispossessedAccurate PassesBall RecoveriesMins Played
Raheem Sterling 2 1 2 2 43 3 74

In fact, as per the table above provided by Opta Stats, it was a rather low-key affair for the England star with even the Baggies support holding back somewhat on the widely expected boos.

Playing in an attacking wide left position, Sterling failed to register a single key pass and only completed one successful take-on as he seemed content enough to let David Silva be City’s main creator.

With Manuel Pellegrini’s men 2-0 up and cruising, Sterling had a glorious chance to open his City account just before half-time when he was sent through on goal, only to shoot far too close to Boaz Myhill.

For a payer of his talent, he should have scored and his failure to do so prompted BBC Five Live pundit and co-commentator Robbie Savage to question his natural finishing ability.

“Sterling should have scored. He made a great run and showed so much pace. But he had so much of the goal to hit and for £49m he should have scored that. I don't think he is a natural finisher,” Savage said.

Sterling’s night was cut short as he made way on the 74th minute. There will be tougher nights ahead for the youngster, but regardless of not contributing greatly, in the end he didn’t really need to.

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