One year after his £49 million move from Liverpool, what lies ahead for Manchester City's Raheem Sterling?

England's Raheem Sterling

Under fire after the Euros, and the burden of a price-tag.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling before the gameManchester City's Raheem Sterling before the game

This time last year Manchester City completed the signing of Raheem Sterling for £49 million from Liverpool, with the player's departure becoming somewhat acrimonious. 

Sterling declined to sign a new contract towards the end of his time at Liverpool, gave an interview to the BBC saying that he wasn't a money grabber after he turned down the deal, while Liverpool dug their heels in over a fee.

It's safe to say that in his subsequent games against his old club, he hasn't received the best of welcomes from Liverpool fans.

Ever since, his price-tag hasn't been far away from the conversation surrounding the player, but it should be noted that he made the move as a 20-year-old. It's such a heavy burden to put on the shoulders of a player of that age, and a year later he is not going to have it removed from him just yet. 

England's Raheem Sterling reacts after missing a chance to scoreEngland's Raheem Sterling reacts after missing a chance to score

It is a big season ahead for Sterling, especially on the back of his European Championship where he was largely a disappointment in a disappointing team, but it will be fascinating to see how he's used under Pep Guardiola

There's little doubt that there is a very talented player there, who can play both wide and through the middle - and it wouldn't be a surprise if he was used more through the middle. It seems to be a position where he looks more at home, and operating in that role feels essential especially as he could be bereft of confidence following the summer.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola poses after the press conferenceManchester City manager Pep Guardiola poses after the press conference

11 goals in all competitions in his first season isn't a bad return, even if he feels he could have had more. He had the same haul during his final season at Liverpool - and again in the campaign before that.

All of that shows he is very promising player, but is probably struggling to step up to the next level for now. Not expected from a £49 million player perhaps, but from a young player it is hardly surprising. 

It feels as though Sterling could do with a season under the radar, to gradually improve, to contribute but in an unspectacular manner. 

Technically he is a very good football that might need to work on his composure in the final third - though age can help with that - while his pace can frighten any opponent. It's hard not to see him emerge from this period a stronger, and better player. 

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling in action with Leicester City's Ngolo KanteManchester City's Raheem Sterling in action with Leicester City's Ngolo Kante

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