Manchester City: This graph shows how £49m Raheem Sterling deal compares to every other Sheikh Mansour signing

Joe Hall
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Since Sheikh Mansour decided to shower his billions on Manchester City the club have attracted many of football's most renowned and desired players; Premier League winners, Champions League winners and even World Cup winners have all arrived at Eastlands yet Raheem Sterling - with less than 150 professional appearances to his name - is the most expensive of the lot.

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At £49m, Sterling is the most expensive English player ever and will cost City nearly £20m more than any other player in their history - for a club renowned for its big spending, that's quite an accolade to have.

The next most expensive fee belongs to Sergio Aguero, signed for £31.5m from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

As demonstrated in the above infographic, which displays every Manchester City signing in the last decade (it doesn't take a genius to spot the moment Sheikh Mansour arrived), not only is Sterling markedly more expensive than City's recent signings, he's markedly younger too.

In fact, City have only ever spent money on four players at the same age or younger than 20-year-old Sterling on four occasions - Mario Balotelli in 2010 (£20.7m from Internazionale), Stefan Savic in 2011 (£8.4m from Partizan Belgrade), Matija Nastasic in 2012 (£10.64m) and Enes Unal earlier this summer (£2.1m from Bursapor).

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With the exception of Unal, there's a common theme running through the group - they all failed to make it at City and are no longer around.

A similar fate has befallen other youngsters who have joined the club in the megabucks years.

Jack Rodwell, Jerome Boateng and Adam Johnson all joined aged 22 or younger and all only briefly held down a spot in the first team before being replaced by another shipped in superstar.

Failing to buy and bleed young players into the first team has seen City's cadre of champions begin to creak. The average age of Manuel Pellegrini's squad last season was 28 years and 357 days - the oldest in the Premier League.

At £49m, City are betting big that Sterling can buck the trend and inject new life into an ageing side.

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