One to Watch - Raheem Sterling
Name: Raheem Sterling
Date of Birth: 8/12/1994
Former Clubs: QPR
League Appearances (Goals): 21 (1)
International Appearances (Goals): 1 (0)
Stat of the Day: Raheem Sterling is the eighth youngest goalscorer in Premier League history
Player Profile: Queens Park Ranger`s attempts at nurturing anything useful from their youth system has been about as successful as their efforts in keeping a manager in the dugout for longer than 5 minutes. Take a trip down memory lane and look at the names of Shabazz Baidoo, Stefan Bailey, Richard Pacquette, Dennis Oli, Josh Parker and Antonio German and you will find it hard to see how QPR can take any credit whatsoever for playing any part in the development of Raheem Sterling. It would appear a ridiculously talented teenager happened to turn up at the doorstep of QPR, who they signed up, brought him through a few age groups before willingly taking a large fee for a little known 14-year-old with presumably a large sell-on-fee in his contract.
The emergence of Sterling at QPR was something of a swift and unanticipated affair; Rangers found themselves in fourth under the guidance of Jim Magilton before a couple of media stories came to the fore, claiming the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City were sniffing around some unheard of superstar at Loftus Road. Some were even stating the teenager would be thrown into the first team for a start; a preposterous idea in hindsight, but not too ludicrous at the time, given the off-field mishaps all too familiar at the club at the time. Nothing came of it and a few months later Sterling was shipped off to Liverpool, with many QPR fans expecting another situation similar to that of hotshot Dean Parrett.
Were in not for the arrival of Brendan Rodgers, Sterling may not have found himself anywhere near the first team for another couple of years, but under the guidance of the former Swansea manager, Sterling has prospered at Anfield and is now a firm fixture in the first team. Posing a clear threat down the left side of the midfield, Sterling is an exciting youngster full of confidence aiming to make his mark on both Liverpool and England sides.
Raheem Sterling joined the QPR academy at the age of 10, making his way through the age groups before coming to the attention of the nation at the age of 14. He was linked with numerous top clubs before Liverpool snapped him up for an initial fee of £600 000, which could rise to a possible £5 million. He impressed at the Liverpool academy, before making his senior debut as a substitute in a league match against Wigan Atheltic in March 2012. He has since made twenty one appearances for Liverpool, with one league goal to his name. Much was made of Sterling`s on-going contract negotiations, but the teenager finally committed his future to the club merely last week.
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