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Man City boss defends new boy Sterling

Raheem Sterling will hope to justify the fuss as Manchester City begin their at West Brom on Monday.

The England international will be the chief focus of attention at The Hawthorns following his acrimonious £49million move to City from Liverpool over the summer.

Much of the headlines surrounding the 20-year-old in recent months have been negative and he will want to make a quick start in City colours to turn discussion back to his football.

Raheem Sterling is set to make his debut on Monday. Credit: PA

Manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident he can do that and has been pleased with how quickly the player has fitted in during pre-season.

"He has settled in very well. He wants to come here, he wants to have new challenges. I don't think he deserves criticism about that.

"He is working very well and it is easy for good players to settle in a good team. I think we are going to have a very successful player this year."

Former Liverpool boss: Sterling is stronger for leaving

Raheem Sterling will emerge from the furore surrounding his transfer to Manchester City stronger for the experience, according to England boss Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson believes Sterling's big move has made him stronger. Credit: PA

The 20-year-old enraged Liverpool fans by making clear he wanted to leave Anfield after turning down a lucrative contract offer.

Hodgson believes Sterling coped mentally with any fall-out, and said:

He was playing for a club with a very strong fan base, not only in England but in other parts of the world, and unfortunately for him, I suppose, the fans locally at Liverpool took unkindly to the fact that he made it clear he wanted to move.

That is part and parcel of football really. I think if anything that will help him to mature and improve even more. I think for his age he is a remarkably strong and robust person, not just physically on the field but mentally.

And these things, if anything, will make him stronger. He has got a big price tag to carry around, but I think he is a good enough player to do so.

– England manager Roy Hodgson


Sterling scores on Manchester City debut

Raheem Sterling celebrates his first goal for Man City. Credit: JULIAN SMITH/AAP/Press Association

Raheem Sterling scored less than three minutes into his Manchester City debut in a pre-season friendly in Australia.

The England forward, signed from Liverpool for £49million after an acrimonious transfer saga, found the net after just two minutes and 17 seconds against Roma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The goal contributed to an entertaining contest in the International Champions Cup, which City went on to win 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at the end of 90 minutes.

Sterling's first touch in the game was inauspicious as he fell over the ball in the first minute but he more than made amends soon after. The 20-year-old raced onto a chipped through-ball from Kelechi Iheanacho and finished coolly with a low shot.

Former Liverpool winger Sterling starts for Man City

Sterling poses with a fan at the stadium in Melbourne. Credit: Reuters

Former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling was named in Man City's starting line-up for today's International Champions Cup friendly against Roma.

The England youngster makes his debut in the Melbourne friendly for a City team also featuring captain Vincent Kompany and David Silva.

Sterling, 20, joined City for £49m last week, making him the world's most expensive player who is 21 years-old or younger.

The match against Roma kicks off at 11am UK time.

Sterling set to make Man City debut against Roma

Sterling is in line to make his Man City debut. Credit: Reuters

Raheem Sterling is expected to make his Manchester City debut against Roma on Tuesday.

Manuel Pellegrini confirmed the £49million summer signing from Liverpool is in line to feature in the International Champions Cup match in Melbourne.

The Chilean added that other returning internationals such as Joe Hart, David Silva and Edin Dzeko could also be involved.

Speaking at a press conference in Australia, he said: "They arrived late, because they were with internationals, just worked five days with us, but I think most will be involved, maybe not the whole game but some minutes.

"I think Raheem worked with Liverpool for three days and so he will play some minutes.

"I know him (Sterling). I've seen him play against us for the last two seasons, but I think it's important for him to try and have minutes with our team as soon as he can."

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