Wednesday 16 August 2017

Is Raheem Sterling the most over-rated player of his generation?

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling is on the move
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling is on the move
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool legend John Aldridge has insisted Raheem Sterling is not worth the £40m Manchester City bid to sign him last week - yet he is not the first player to be handed such an over-inflated price tag.

Sterling has only been a first team regular at Liverpool for a couple of seasons, but he is being priced as being more valuable that Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

It remains to be seen whether Sterling lives up to his billing if he does secure his big money move this summer, but many critics are predicting he will following in the footsteps of these expensive flops.

As all of these players were experienced performers when they were sold for vast sums, the idea that Sterling is already worth £50m seems somewhat laughable.

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Manchester United's Angel Di Maria has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
 

ANGEL DI MARIA

Club: Manchester United

Cost: £59.7m in August 2014

This Argentine superstar struggled horribly to make his mark in his first season at United, but it looks as if he will be back for more next season and it seems impossible to imagine that he will be so disappointing again.

Di Maria still produced a glut of assists for United last season and he has a chance to turn his tag as a flop into something far more commendable next season.

ELIAQUIM MANGALA

Club: Manchester City

Cost: £32m in August 2014

This French international was hailed as the key defensive signing for City last summer, but Mangala struggled horribly in his first season at the club.

Looking out-of-his-depth on numerous occasions, Mangala needs to confirm he has adapted to the English game quickly if he is to justify the vast wages he was offered a year ago.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela holds off Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard during their Premier League clash at Anfield. Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
 

ERIK LAMELA

Club: Tottenham

Cost: £30 in August 2013

Spurs splashed the cash in a big way when they sold Gareth Bale for a world record £86m to Real Madrid and their biggest purchase was Argentine youngster Lamela.

He has proved to be a disastrous purchase. Two seasons of indifferent form highlighted by the odd high profile moment of magic have not justified his vast price tag and Spurs would be lucky to get half of their money back now.

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Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring a goal against Getafe during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)
 

FERNANDO TORRES

Club: Chelsea

Cost: £50m in January 2011

No flop transfer list is complete without the inclusion of the Spanish striker who lost his way long before he showed up at Stamford Bridge in what was a British record transfer.

Torres never managed to find his feet at Chelsea and even though he was the favourite player of club owner Roman Abramovich, he failed to make his mark in a blue shirt despite winning a host of top trophies, including the 2012 Champions League.

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Stoke City v West Ham United - Barclays Premier League...Football - Stoke City v West Ham United - Barclays Premier League - The Britannia Stadium - 2/3/13 West Ham's Andy Carroll celebrates at the end of the match Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ?live? services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
 

ANDY CARROLL

Club: Liverpool

Cost: £35m in January 2011

Liverpool would argue that Carroll was a free punt in the transfer market after the £50m sale of Torres to Chelsea, but the truth must be that he was a major flop at Anfield.

Often injured and only occasionally impressive when he was fit, Liverpool did well to get around £18m back on their investment when they sold this fragile forward to West Ham.

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BAD MOVE: Keane with then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez
 

ROBBIE  KEANE

Club: Liverpool

Cost: £20m in July 2008

The Ireland captain may never have had a chance to prove his worth in his few short months at Liverpool, as Anfield boss Rafael Benitez seemed determined to drive him out of the Anfield door from the moment he arrived amid rumours that he never wanted to sign the Dubliner in the first place.

Keane's contributions to Liverpool’s efforts were decent when he was given the odd first team chance, but he must still be licking his wounds from a humiliation that ended with him returning to his former club Tottenham. This is one transfer mystery that was never fully explained.

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David Bentley during his days at Spurs
 

DAVID BENTLEY

Club: Tottenham

Cost:  £15m in July 2008

Bentley is one of those modern footballers who is hard to have any admiration for, with his arrogance and self-obsession not worthy of the limited talent he  was bless with.

Bentley looked like a star in the making at Blackburn, but a step up in class at Tottenham was too much for him and he retired from the game at the age of 29 claiming he had lost his motivation. Too much money far too soon for a player who was not as good as he thought he was.

ANDREY SHEVCHENKO

Club: Chelsea

Cost: £30.8m in May 2006

This Ukrainian was one of the world's finest marksman when he was in his prime at AC Milan, but it quickly became evident that his best days were behind him before he arrived at Chelsea.

Lacking pace and struggling to adapt to English football, Shevchenko was one of the most expensive mistakes made by Chelsea and he left the club for nothing in August 2009.

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Chelsea's Shaun Wright-Phillips gets a leg up on Everton's Joleon Lescott during the Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Goodison Park last night
 

SHAUN WRIGHT-PHILLIPS

Club: Chelsea

Cost: £21m in July 2005

If there is a player Raheem Sterling could be compared to, it might be Wright-Phillips, who flopped horribly after his high profile move from Manchester City to Chelsea.

Back in the day, City were very much a minnow of the Premier League and the step up in class to work with Jose Mourinho's squad was too much for Wright-Phillips. He has been earning huge money without playing for QPR in recent years.

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