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'Raheem Sterling will be a success at Manchester City'

ON THE BALL: Raheem Sterling (left) in action against Real Madrid

RAHEEM STERLING is a Manchester City player and I think it is a great move all concerned. This transfer has dominated the back pages for months… so here are a few of my thoughts, even though Liverpool fans won’t thank me for them!

Raheem is in a stronger side. Playing alongside Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, David Silva and the many other stars the Citizens are likely to bring in, will help him improve and develop. Liverpool fans and many pundits have suggested he will be a bench warmer, but I think he is now in an environment where he will have to push himself to succeed.

The former QPR man is back playing Champions League football. If you want to be regarded as a top player – and I mean genuinely top drawer – then you have to be playing in the Champions League. Liverpool are not doing this. Last season they did not look close to being a side that regularly achieves a top four finish.

Raheem has a chance of winning the Premier League at City. Despite a very average season Manuel Pellegrini's men finished second. Liverpool finished 6th after losing key man, Luis Suarez, and failing to successfully reinvest the huge transfer fee they received. Liverpool will not finish above City this season – getting into the top four will be their challenge.

The Jamaica-born Raheem is earning more money. This has dominated the narrative of this transfer saga. His agent, Aidy Ward, was heavily criticized for allowing his client to talk about his contract publicly – but clearly Sterling felt he had to present the truth as he saw it. If you felt you were being misrepresented, and your club weren’t addressing this, wouldn't you speak out? Football is a business – we all accept that. His agent has got him a bigger contract – that’s good business.

Finally, and candidly, Raheem's move was a big moment for the black community. He is a black football star whose talents have commanded a huge fee - but importantly the deal was done by one of the few black agents.

Ward has been battered across every media outlet, but he remained focused on getting his client the best deal possible. Ward is a very direct gentleman - and that is what dominates people's impressions of him - but there are plenty of folk like that in the game, he has played a blinder.

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