Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has today stated that he expects in-demand forward Raheem Sterling to stay with the Reds this summer, despite transfer speculation about the youngster moving on.
Contract talks between the Merseysider’s and the youngster’s agent was due to take place today and it was expected that Aidy Ward (Sterling’s agent) would tell the club that the youngster would not be signing a contract extension, which would likely lead to a summer move.
There has been lots of speculation over why the youngster wants to move, money, ambition and unhappiness at the way the contract negotiations have been handled.
There have even been claims that Sterling felt that the club were attempting to bully him into signing a new contract on Merseyside.
Sterling is one of the most highly-regarded young footballers in the Premier League, if not European football. The 20-year-old has been linked with moves to the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and even Bayern Munich.
Manchester City are currently favourites to sign the youngster at odds of 11/8, but it seems that Liverpool are not going to let he youngster leave easily.
Talking about the youngsters future Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers told a press conference “Raheem has two years left and I expect him to see that two years through and continue to behave as immaculately as he has done.
“I don’t see Raheem being unhappy. Raheem’s representative made it very clear that they wanted to speak at the end of the season, so for us our concentration is really on the last game of the season, so I am sure talks will take place over the course of the summer.
“We want to resolve (contract) situation but it doesn’t change my approach to him. There is no problem there.
“Ownership have shown their strength in their time here. When they have had to show that strength with players they have done that.”
Despite being highly-rated and bursting onto the scene last season with Liverpool and to a certain extent England at the World Cup, Raheem Sterling has endured a relatively disappointing campaign for the Reds.
This season he has scored just seven times and collected eight assists, which is not great considering he has spent some of the season as Liverpool’s main striker. Maybe I am being slightly harsh on the youngster, but surely such a highly-rated player should be producing slightly more for his team.
He is a young player and will improve with experience and more game time at the top level of football. For me he still has a lot to prove for a player who is reported to carry a £40million price tag.
There is no doubt that Raheem Sterling does have a lot of talent and potential to develop that talent. He is a player that has the pace and ability to beat opposition defenders. The ability to beat a man seems to be dying out in the game and Sterling has it.
Maybe that is why he is so highly-regarded by some fans and media alike. However, for the amount of money that has been bandied about clubs will expect the finished article and at the moment Raheem Sterling is just a talented young player. I do not believe he is the finished article.
If the claim that Sterling is leaving because he is ambitious and wants to win trophies is true, then surely he could develop at Liverpool and help the Reds to win trophies. He is still only young and learning the game.
Sure he may not have the same chance of winning trophies at Liverpool as say Chelsea or Manchester City, but he will play regular first team football with the Reds.
At other clubs he may not be first choice and is likely to find it harder to play regular first team football, because currently he may struggle to get into the Chelsea or City team.
Raheem Sterling is a talented young footballer with the world at his feet apparently, but the whole saga over his future has been a mess. It may be better for everybody involved if Sterling did leave the club this summer and the Reds used the transfer fee to reinforce their squad (hopefully better than last summer).
Sterling looks to have turned Liverpool fans against him and it will be very difficult to win back their affection and loyalty. It seems that it is now obvious that Sterling no longer wants to be at the club. Such is the power of the football player, or agent, the player usually gets their wish.
Hopefully this saga can come to an end this summer one way or another, because until it does Liverpool will remain in limbo with one of their star player’s future in doubt and it will only hinder preparations for next season.
Should Liverpool sell Raheem Sterling this summer?