It may be a tad unfair to compare new Manchester City signing Raheem Sterling’s transfer to other potential summer moves, considering the face-saving £49m price tag Liverpool clearly felt they needed to extract for the troublesome 20-year-old.
However, the best part of £50m for a player who scored a mere 18 goals and laid on 14 assists in 95 Premier League appearances for the Reds, 77 of which were starts, seems a bit stiff.
City clearly believe his productivity will increase in a more consistently-competitive side, and other factors, such as the chaos Sterling’s lightning-quick runs can bring about in opposing defences, are in the 20-year-old’s favour.
That being said, the difference between Sterling’s stats and other recent big-money movers is stark.
Gareth Bale bagged three times as many Premier League goals in his last season at Tottenham, prior to rocking up at Real Madrid for £80m, while £65m Luis Suarez managed 10 more than even the Welsh winger for Liverpool during 2013/14, before heading to Barcelona.
With that pair in mind, now may be the moment for Arsenal and Manchester United to call eccentric Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis’ bluff by meeting striker Gonzalo Higuain’s reported £64.7m release clause.
The Argentina forward has scored at least 16 league goals in six of the past seven seasons, managing 29 in all competitions for Napoli last term.
Higuain has also laid on 15 assists during his two years so far in Serie A, and holds a fine international record of 25 goals in 52 Albiceleste appearances.
Taking all this into account, how could the 27-year-old be worth any less than one-and-a-half Sterlings?
An argument can be made over their respective ages, with City’s new signing seven years Higuain’s junior, but whether that factor skews such a wide contrast between the pair’s productivity is questionable.
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