The whole Raheem Sterling saga is now in danger of getting boring… It was exciting when he went against club orders to undertake a BBC interview in which he talked about his ‘money-grabber’ persona, it died out a little when it became clear he wanted a move, but then it got really interesting when his agent, the lovely Aidy Ward, allegedly ranted about the whole episode and branded Jamie Carragher a “kn*b”.
However, as time has passed it’s become a bit played out, and Manchester City’s rejected £25m-£30m offer hasn’t been greeted with anywhere near the level of excitement it perhaps would have been had other events not transpired.
As mentioned, Liverpool have rebuffed the approach, but we think that if the Citizens make another move, which they’re expected to do, the Merseysiders should cash in… and here’s why!
There’s nothing to suggest Sterling could be a bad influence in the Liverpool dressing room, but will a player somewhat forced to stay put really be willing to buy into the cause? It seems unlikely… If Rodgers’ Reds are to get anywhere near the top four next season they will need everybody singing from the same hymn sheet, with competition with sides able to spend more and pay more in terms of wages tough enough without the factor of the Europa League rolled in.
There’s also the human angle. Should Sterling really have his heart set on a move, is it fair to keep him against his will? After all, the £30m+ Man City are willing to pay is respectable.
Although Sterling is on of the most talented youngsters in Europe, Liverpool have players within their ranks ready to step up. The comparisons between the Jamaican-born ace and Jordon Ibe are easily drawn, and although the latter is still very much on the raw side, he does appear to have the potential to, perhaps, overtake his ‘senior’ team-mate.
As well as the ex-Wycombe man, Lazar Markovic is also waiting for a role in the final third after spending the majority of his debut season plugging away as a wing-back, while free slots in a front three may allow Jerome Sinclair to break into the senior set-up after some late 2014/15 cameo showings.
Anywhere between the £25m offered and the £50m the Reds want – minus a fee to QPR due to clauses in the deal that took him to Merseyside as a teenager – could provide a big boost for Rodgers in the transfer market. There’s little doubting that Liverpool need a top class forward, and with freebies – James Milner, Adam Bogdan and Danny Ings – the signings so far, there are whispers among the fans that the cash may not be available.
Although 2017 may be two years down the line, the prospect of Sterling leaving on a fee – albeit for a compensation fee, as he’ll still be under 24 – looms large. As the months tick by, the 20-year-old’s value will dip and dip, which could mean that his price tag falls significantly by the time next summer rolls around. So perhaps cashing in now while the money is more than respectable makes sense.
Although Sterling is talked about as one of the best youngsters on the planet, his finishing is wayward, he tends to drift in and out of games and the pressures of recent events have exposed that when things get tough, he goes missing. He’s likely to improve in all of those aspects In the coming years, but Liverpool need an impact now if they’re to get back to the top of the English game, so perhaps taking the money and spending it on a more established player could make sense…