Kolo Toure has warned Raheem Sterling that leaving Liverpool would be a big mistake.
The 20-year-old Reds attacker has recently been linked with moves away from Anfield amid speculation that he’s reluctant to extend his contract at the club.
A controversial interview with the BBC allowed Sterling to have his say, in which he claimed that trophies, not money, motivates him, he’s rejected a £100,000-per-week offer and that interest from Arsenal is flattering.
The Gunners are believed to be keen, as are Chelsea and Manchester City, but Toure has called on Sterling to stay where he is for at least two more years for the good of his career:
“I’m not surprised there’s speculation because everybody would want to have a player like him.” He told the Liverpool Echo.
“But he needs to stay here. Liverpool is a great place for him.
“This is a massive club and he has a manager who believes in him. There’s a lot more to come from Raheem and he needs to be in an environment where he can really express himself.
“I hope he signs. This is a club where he can really enjoy his football and where people will give him responsibility.
“This is definitely the best place for him to continue his development. At Liverpool, he’s beginning to be one of the most important players. He’s playing every week.
“If he went to another club there would be big challenges he would face. He wouldn’t be the most important player.
“Both (Jack) Rodwell and (Scott) Sinclair went to a club where there is big competition and didn’t play,
“If Raheem left Liverpool he wouldn’t be sure to start games. Make a mistake or don’t score for two games and he will be on the bench. There is no messing at clubs like that.
“Raheem is still only 20 and this is the best place for him to continue learning. He’s very important to this club.
“He needs to stay at Liverpool for at least two more years to go to the next level. Then he could look at it again.
“He’s an intelligent boy and I’m sure he will make the right decision.”
Sterling has been a Liverpool layer since his early teens, when the Merseyside snapped him up from QPR’s academy.
He’s now a key first-team player at Liverpool and is a value member of Roy Hodgson England set-up.