Sterling arrival allows City Silva lining
When Raheem Sterling made the 40-odd mile trip fromLiverpool to Manchester over the summer, moving from The Reds to The Citizens, many an eyebrow was raised. In particular given the nigh-on £50m fee that the Manchester City paid. As City make a statement beginning to the 2015/16 campaign however, Sterling's arrival - though not necessarily through his own individual contribution - may prove to be a key signing in City's attempts to wrestle back their Premier League crown.
Sterling's arrival at The Etihad for such a steep fee, led many to question such a move by Manuel Pellegrini. City, after losing their title to Chelsea, needed revitalisation but was a move for Sterling who had - to an extent - disappointed for Liverpool last term, one that made sense and more pertinently, one that City needed, to spur the side on? Two games into a season is no time for conclusions, but within the embryonic throes of this campaign, perhaps Sterling's addition a particularly shrewd one.
David Silva has often held the key to Manchester City's fortunes and after just two league outings this season, the Spaniard has been just that magician, to unlock domestic defences once more. In just 180 minutes thus far, Silva has made two assists and scored once - now awarded to after a disputed deflected effort from Yaya Toure versus West Brom.
It is Sterling's arrivals however, thats has allowed the Spanish international and former Valencia man, to move more centrally into a more suited number ten role and it shows. When David Silva is deployed wide left, he often finds limited space on the flank and with only occasional openings to express his superior footballing abilities.
Not only that, having Sterling occupy the space on the left and with Jesus Navas on the opposite side, presents the quandary for opposing defences of who mark out of the game, where possible.
Quite simply put, it isn't.
Furthermore, with a settled - after much publicised contractual disputes - Yaya Toure's bombarding runs and of course Kun Aguero's presence, it is becoming apparent that covering all defensive bases is set be a huge task this season. As an out-of-sorts Chelsea discovered to their cost, last Sunday.
It is not only the midfield that seems to be benefitting from a fresh face in their line-up. The much maligned Aleksandr Kolarov was, like Toure, linked with a move to Serie A. With Gael Clichy's early season absence, Kolarov has struck up an understanding with Raheem Sterling and David Silva. Now, not only are the Serbian fullback's rampaging shifts down the left wing more of a threat, Sterling's pace can provide the cover needed for Kolarov to be a more efficient defender.
In previous campaigns, we have seen that when new new blood arrives into a team stale and full of malaises, it can act like an antidote and spread throughout the team. That currently is true of Vincent Kompany.
Post- World Cup, the Belgian clawed in vain for any semblance of form, but even before that, Kompany's form has been on a downward spiral since 2010, with less clean sheets every season. Last season was the tip of the iceberg, with just seven.
Kompany has began this season like a new player; already yet to concede a goal and after failing to find the net once after notching four the previous term, the Belgian international has scored in both opening fixtures.
As documented, it would be poor judgement to make any early revolutionary deductions, however the inclusion of Raheem Sterling into Manuel Pellegrini's set-up will force their rivals to re-evaluate their gameplan when they come face-to-face. Sterling's 16 goals and 17 assists over the last two campaigns may not be improved upon, but the effect his inclusion may have could be priceless for The Citizens.
In January 2014, Chelsea brought in Nemanja Matic for his second spell at the club from Benfica and performed a coveted, but less-heralded role than his some of his team-mates.
For Manchester City, Raheem Sterling may do just the same.