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De Bruyne and Sterling: How City’s new boys compare

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It’s fair to say that despite two Premier League defeats, Manchester City have made an explosive start to the season.

As usual, City also made an explosive foray into the transfer market, picking up 20 year old English forward Raheem Sterling from Liverpool and 24 year old Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne from Wolfsburg, costing just over £100 million for the pair.

But in the early stages of the season, the gulf in class between the two has been apparent, with de Bruyne adapting to life in the Premier League with ease, whilst Sterling looks lost amongst his millions.



Sergio Aguero may be back amongst the goals after netting five in City’s demolition of Newcastle last weekend, but de Bruyne’s contribution for Manuel Pellegrini’s side hasn’t gone unnoticed after the midfielder has added three Premier League goals too.

De Bruyne netted in the 6-1 victory, and played an instrumental part in City’s comeback with two assists, whilst Sterling looked a forlorn figure in the side and was substituted at half time as a result.



Sterling arrived at the Etihad Stadium before de Bruyne, and appeared to settle into his new surroundings relatively quickly, forming a decent partnership down City’s left with full back Aleksandar Kolarov.

But as the Citizens form dropped, so too did Sterling’s performances. Sterling was substituted in defeats against Juventus and West Ham, and had a torrid time when City lost at White Hart Lane.

At the same time, de Bruyne’s effectiveness has surpassed that of Sterling. His four goals and two assists in seven appearances has shadowed the former Liverpool player, who has netted just twice and added just one assist in double the amount of match minutes, with Sterling missing more goalscoring opportunities too.

Sterling offers pace, but his lack of chances created, compared to that of de Bruyne, isn’t even in the same league. Sterling has created 18 chances with the Belgian creating 23, and De Bruyne has also completed just under double the amount of dribbles.

De Bruyne covers more of the pitch too, but given his position on the field this could be unfair to Sterling. That said, it shows how much more of an impact on the field for his teammates.


Clearly, money isn’t an issue for Manchester City, but with Raheem Sterling costing a reported fee of £49 million and Kevin de Bruyne arriving in the region of £55 million, there seems an awful lot of difference between the two players.

For the majority of Premier League club’s, spending £50 million on one player seems out of the ordinary, and rightly so, but if you had the option to buy just one of these players, the evidence in the early stages of the season points towards the Belgian.

kevin de bruyne Manuel Pellegrini raheem sterling

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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