Captain Vincent Kompany has hailed the signing of Raheem Sterling as “massive” for Manchester City as the club chases more trophies, saying his fearlessness sets him aside from his peers.
The 20-year-old Sterling became the most expensive English footballer in history earlier this week when he signed from Liverpool on a five-year contract worth an initial A?44 million that could rise to A?49 million ($76 million, 68 million euro).
He almost immediately got on a plane to hook up with his new team-mates in Australia, where City play a friendly on the Gold Coast on Saturday ahead of matches against Real Madrid and AS Roma in Melbourne.
“It’s massive for us — the biggest thing is that you’ve seen Sterling, especially the way he played the season before last, and he was one of the main reasons, along with (Luis) Suarez, that Liverpool played so well,” Kompany said on the club website.
“It became more difficult for them when Suarez left but what you will find is that he will have this kind of structure at City already.
“I mean, we’ve got Kun (Sergio Aguero) up front, we’ve got (Wilfried) Bony, we’ve got so many players who will be able to link up with him we will be able to make him better as well.”
City finished runners-up behind champions Chelsea last season and Kompany said the squad needed to be bolstered to challenge again with Sterling seen as the perfect fit.
“We have great quality in the team but you can’t compete nowadays if you don’t improve every year,” he said.
“Other teams improve, we need to improve and getting him (Sterling) puts us one step closer to being this team which can win trophies again. It’s very important for us.”
Sterling, who rejected a A?100,000-a-week deal to extend his stay at Liverpool, with the Reds finally accepting City’s third bid during the close season, trained with his new team-mates on the Gold Coast Friday.
Whether he features in their clash against Melbourne City on Saturday remains to be seen.
Kompany, who has played against Sterling in a number of big games in recent years, said it was his fearlessness that stood him apart.
“He’s quick, he’s very unpredictable -a he’s shown that he has especially great determination,” he said.
“You play against so many players with great quality but it’s the fact that he’s always willing to put in the extra yard.
“That makes it that extra bit difficult when you have a player with quality who is not shy to run and put his body on the line -a that’s a special player.”
By AFP .