LIVERPOOL should not sell Raheem Sterling this summer.
I don’t care whether Manchester City or anyone else bids upwards of £40million over the coming months, the club should not let the player leave Anfield under any circumstances.
As a fan I don’t want money in the bank given the situation in which Liverpool currently find themselves. When there is such uncertainty around the manager’s position, no Champions League football on offer and a list of reported transfer targets that conjure less inspiration than a Maroon 5 concert, money in the bank means next to nothing to me.
Give me the guarantee of a talented player over pound signs every day of the week. Pound signs mean another Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana or maybe even a Christian Benteke arriving at Anfield in my mind. No thanks, I’d rather keep the kid we were all hailing as the best young player in the world six to 12 months ago even if he now carries an upturned lip and a scowl upon his face.
If Liverpool receive £30m, £40m or £50m for Raheem Sterling this summer, how would it help? Could anyone say with any confidence that that money would be wisely reinvested? The prospect of the club going out and acquiring a direct replacement with similar levels of talent — and they would desperately need to — is fanciful at present and we’ve seen that already this summer.
Liverpool couldn’t compete with Manchester United for Memphis Depay, a young player with a similar profile and reputation to Sterling. Of course, if you listen to the club, we pulled out of the running for that player because presumably we wanted to focus our attention on bringing in Danny Ings or Adam Bogdan instead, but in the real world one suspects that Depay simply preferred a move to Manchester to work with Louis van Gaal and play Champions League football. The vast majority of top-level footballers would have done the same.
To date Liverpool have brought in James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan and the club apparently want to acquire Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne who are rated by their clubs at over £50m combined. If you think an additional lump sum from the sale of Raheem Sterling would suddenly mean the likes of Karim Benzema, Carlos Tevez or Edinson Cavani arriving at Anfield then you’re crazy. It isn’t happening. Liverpool aren’t skint right now and no amount of additional incoming cash from selling Sterling would increase the attractiveness of the club to the top players that we all desire and would need to replace the young forward.
But hang on. You can’t keep unhappy players these days, can you? They have all the power and if they want to leave then they will. That’s the general consensus when a player kicks up a fuss in the modern era, but I beg to differ. Liverpool, not Sterling or his motor mouth agent Aidy Ward, hold the cards here.
If Liverpool simply straight batted away bids all summer then on the first day of next season the ball would be firmly in Sterling’s court and he would have two options to choose from.
Option one would be to accept his situation, knuckle down, improve, show everyone how good he is and encourage bids from the best clubs in the world again next summer.
Option two would be to down tools, sulk or refuse to play. In which case I’d say let him. A year of inactivity now would hurt Sterling far more than it would hurt Liverpool.
Remember Adnan Januzaj? Before he put pen to paper on a deal that made him one the best paid teenagers of all time (with a reported £5m signing on fee to boot), he was being hailed by Gary Neville as having the potential to become the best player in the world and being linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and any other top team going.
Fast forward to today. Are any top teams being linked to the United player now? Would anyone dare to claim he would get a regular game for any of those clubs? The answer is no. Because football moves on quickly. A year of under performance or inactivity even for a kid as talented as a Januzaj or a Sterling can severely damage the player’s progression, reputation and attractiveness to prospective suitors. People’s minds move on quickly and opinions change. Today’s golden boy can become a laughing stock almost overnight in football today.
You only need to look to the seismic and almost instantaneous shift in opinion of the Liverpool fan base towards Sterling since his performances went off the boil in the final third of last season to see that. During the first half of 2014-15, he was clearly Liverpool’s most important attacking player. His manager had labelled him the best youngster in the world. Liverpool supporters wouldn’t have sold him for all the tea in China.
Now, after a couple of months of poor form and an unpalatable transfer saga thrown in, a good portion of them would flog him tomorrow for £40m, wave him on his way and label him overrated and greedy.
A year of Sterling sulking and refusing to play or give his all would see a change in opinion from outside the club in much the same way. Presumably his international chances would be hurt (although you never know with Roy in charge of England) and his mentality would certainly be brought into question.
Sterling downing tools wouldn’t be a smart move in reality no matter what Aidy Ward would presumably claim to the contrary over the summer. Not unless he is willing to sabotage his career. Come August if he’s wearing a Liverpool shirt he either goes out and shows the world how good he is thus increasing the demand for his signature or he fades away and watches Jordon Ibe or Lazar Markovic fill his role in the team. I say give him that choice. Let him make it.
Offering a far more important player the same dilemma worked out just fine for the club two years ago. Liverpool had to deal with basically the same situation with Luis Suarez in the past and, after a summer of whining to the press, agitating for a move and sulking through pre-season games, reality finally hit home with the Uruguayan when the season started and he had to make the best of being at Liverpool.
When his head was right again he went out and became one of the best three players in the world thus facilitating his eventual dream move to Barcelona. He nearly won Liverpool the Premier League in the process, too. Not bad. So much for the modern player being willing to down tools and holding all the cards.
If anything, the game of brinksmanship that Liverpool could enter into with Sterling this summer is far less daunting than the one they won with Suarez in the summer of 2013. There is less on-field risk given that Suarez was so obviously head and shoulders above every other footballer at the club two years ago whereas Sterling isn’t at that level yet. There is also most certainly less financial risk attached to keeping an unhappy Sterling at Anfield than there was with Suarez.
Usually fans and club owners panic when their top player wants to leave because, if said player does decide to just stop trying in a bid to force his way out, it will be costing the club a king’s ransom in wages for little to no output and who wants that? With Sterling this isn’t really the case.
He’s on a reported £35,000 per week as things stand. That is a pittance in Premier League terms. It’s probably less than what Fabio Borini has been taking home over the last 12 months during which time he’s been sighted less often at Anfield than the ghost of Lord Lucan.
If the worst did happen and Sterling threw his toys out of the pram, Liverpool could afford to keep an unhappy player both in terms of their bank balance off the pitch and what they would be losing on the pitch. Better to have an unhappy Sterling at your club than starring for one of the teams that you are desperately trying to catch.
The best case scenario is that Sterling stays at the club, kicks on again next year and plays a big part in getting Liverpool back into the top four which has to be goal. If that happened then it would be worth a lot more to the club than any offer that may arrive on the table this summer and, who knows, he might even want to stay then.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
Like The Anfield Wrap on Facebook
Subscribe to TAW Player: https://www.theanfieldwrap.com/player/subscribe
Can the Webster ruling be implemented by Sterling so that he can leave for a few mil later this year???
No mate he cannot, Melissa Reddy explained it in the comments section of one of her articles
RAHEEM STERLING: TIME TO WARD OFF THE KNOBS
by Melissa Reddy // 22 May 2015
I certainly wouldn’t sell to any other English club. However, if a huge bid came in from a foreign club then I would wave him goodbye.
well melissa is absolultley clueless. Raheem Sterling can most def. use the webster ruling from January 2016 and be worth about 8 million £. He is gone no matter what Bullcrap is written about it..Tataa
I see your point. But Memphis Depay is miles ahead of Sterling in end product and goal scoring ability and only cost £20 something million.
If Liverpool got £50m for an over hyped English player, we’ll have done very well.
Liverpool might not be able to get a star player to replace him but we could certainty buy one or two better players than Sterling with that money.
We COULD, but would we? Do you fully trust our club to scout, entice and then secure any of Europe’s top talent after the last few years of transfer dealings? Would it not be a lot easier to attract good players by having good players here already?
Depay transfer fees is 31m pounds.And he is getting 110K per week in basic wages.City bid for Sterling is lesser with a similar pay structure..
Depay has been playing in a much inferior league than Sterling has been.
Luk De Jong of PSV has been a much better player than Depay if you go by stats.
Even Kuyt scored loads in the Dutch league.
Moreover Sterling being an English player, commands a premium.
I would say Sterling is worth 40m pounds based on Depay transfer.
Memphis depay is not ahead of Sterling at all idiot…He played in the the awful dutch league for the champions…Depay currently is at the same level of Markovic if not even worse…Sterling is a gem, he just stopped playing once he knew our fans are the most stupid knobheads in the world and 2 months from now he will be reborn again and in 3-4 seasons he become the worlds best player! All of you can go eat shit then! Bye
Christ on a bike. The little sh*t already thinks he is too big for Liverpool, force him to stay and will simply go into sulk mode – we’ll have endless yammerings from Aidy Ward about how his player (HIS player!) is being held against his will. Sterling is not Suarez, he has not shown anything like the balls to the wall tenacity that Luis displayed on his “extra season”.
Sterling will simply be a depreciating asset and yes I would rather risk the club spending the money than keep Raheem. You can’t assume they will fuck up every transfer cos its suits your weak argument .
Based on recent evidence, it is hard to believe that they will do anything other than fuck up future transfers.
On the one hand i agree with this article but on the other I can’t really see the point. As mentioned, Suarez goes against what you’d expect if you made him stay but I feel this has gone too far. We haven’t had the best of him in the last how many months and i doubt we will again. It’s over. Not bothered about cash either but at the end of the day LFC have x amount to spend and in general x amount gets spent. At some point the money will go on players. Might as well just get it. We’ve lost this one. We have our selves to blame. If I thought some good could come from denying him I’d be all over it. I don’t think it can though. Players are the commodity. They hold the cards. We’ve lost. Why embarrass ourselves further. Keeping Sterling by force is not the answer. The answer is stop being so incompetent that good players want out.
It’s entirely possible that we have actually seen tne next of him already. In modern football tactics nullify skill at every turn, unless you are unpredictable like Suarez or Messi or Maradona. Sterling is none of these. It takes a few games for new talents to be found out, and Sterling’s 2014/15 was very similar to his performances when he first came into the team. He spent much of the season running into trouble but we quite charitably suggested he was ‘distracted’ by his contract problems. We lose sight of the fact that he is in no way the creature of his agent. In his interviews he was articulate and focussed – he drove the agenda hinself.
He is not the first incomplete talent to get over-hyped and he won’t be the last. Wright-Phillips, Jeffers, even Ince spring to mind. One poor match for RM or Chelsea and you’re on the bench, those benches are hard to get off, better players than Raheem are rotting on benches in CL squads.
If we can get North of 30 mil we should cash in, provided we can get a quality replacement. That would mean a completely different approach to recruitment from FSG, and keeping Rodgers well away from having the final say.
Think you got that a bit arse about face pal, it’s FSG and the committee away from the recruitment. all the players you are complaining about where FSG buys.
Come off it Kev. Put good players around him and he’s proved he’s brilliant. Play him in an unfamiliar role or with wank players and he’s not. We’re the losers here. Don’t pretend we’re the winners by getting £30m., 7 and a half of which would go to QPR.
He doesn’t want to play for us. And keeping him rotting in the bench as some suggest does nobody any good. Got all FSGs faults they have stumped up cash when asked, and Rodgers asserted that he had the last say, so the owners are not exclusively at fault. The ‘huge’ Carroll fee doesn’t look so huge nowadays. He was a great idea gone awry. A couple of times he looked a terrific buy, sonething Borini, Lallana, Balo have not threatened. And I’m not saying Sterling is not a good player. He is. But not great. Pennant promised as much as Sterling, once.
No one can stay with him over 3 yards, which makes him very difficult to play against. All he has to do is prop, get the defender to stop then spring into the space around him. It is one of the things that makes messi so hard to play against.
Incidentally, I think that Rodgers should get a lot of credit for getting him into the positions where he can really do damage with this.
He would be a 5 times better player if he could actually finish though. I had hoped that it would come with time but now I am not so sure. For that reason I would take 50 mil for him.
we ain’t getting £50m though. There’s no bidding war as only City after him and they have made it clear they won’t pay more than £40m and even some of that is made up of add-ons. plus 20% of that goes to QPR.
So all-in-all if we do a deal with City on their terms we’ll end up getting just over £30m in actual cash for one of the best prospects in world football. We’d live to regret that.
We’d be better keeping him UNLESS someone does give us genuinely £40m cash for him as that his true worth. City’s £32m is not enough.
I think it was Raheem’s innocence, playing with boy-like abandon, without the burden of care of chasing money and fame, that brought out the best in him. I remember one of his goal celebrations — I think it was in Spring 2014 — when he ran with pure glee and unbelieving delight straight into Brendan Rodgers’ arms, like a boy would run to his Dad to look up and see the pride in his eyes. Their embrace was one of mutual love. It was a very special moment.
Unfortunately, Raheem has completely lost that innocence by coming under the influence of the wrong people. I think it’s impossible to regain that innocence once it’s gone. He will never again play with that same degree of abandon. Recent photos show him frustrated, nearly in tears. He has realised that football is his grown-up job now, not the youthful pleasure it once was and will probably never be again.
The entire premise of his BBC interview — repeated again and again — was that he only wants to play football. Too bad, Raheem. You made your choice. You played with fire in the grown-up world and you learned that it burns. I tend to agree with David — it makes financial sense to keep Raheem and force him to prove his worth. If he delivers and shows the world he is a future great, LFC will only benefit whether they sell him at a high price or we get CL again and he opts to stay. If he continues in his current poor form due to distraction and pouting, let him stew in his own juice on the bench for £35K and watch his mate Jordon take his place and win the hearts of the fans, something Raheem chose foolishly to squander.
Every pundit and most respectable journos tried multiple times to guide him. He now has to either be a man or get left behind as a boy in a young man’s body.
If he continues in his current poor form due to distraction and pouting, let him stew in his own juice on the bench for £35K and watch his mate Jordon take his place and win the hearts of the fans, something Raheem chose foolishly to squander.
Ibe is already doing it. Ibe stuck around and, as everyone saw, is working with King Kenny on his finishing. What is Sterling doing? Getting booed in Dublin? Has Sterling asked King Kenny or Ian Rush to come to the National team camp and help him work on his finishing? The King would certainly do it if asked. He wants to see LFC succeed after all. Sterling needs to take PR lessons from Ibe and The Little Magician.
his frustration could actually come from his realisation that he was playing alongside Saurez one season, and is now surrounded by average squad players. His game isnt going to improve much in that situation.
Or his frustration could come from his realisation that he cant finish.
Your point about Suárez doesn’t hold up. The really great players elevate everyone else around them on the pitch — as Luis Suárez did, as Steven Gerrard did. I believe Philippe Coutinho has it in him to follow in those footsteps because, as Brendan has said about him more than once, he has brilliant game intelligence as well as skill. I’m not convinced Raheem Sterling has that, and I’m not convinced it can be taught or learned. It has to come from inside. And if Raheem doesn’t have it, or has it to some extent but doesn’t know how to cultivate it within himself, he’ll never be a truly great footballer.
Sterling wont be moving into the top 4 because he isn’t good enough.
He is staying here. Later in the summer he will swear his allegiance to the club and city he “loves” and it will feel like a new signing,masking the facts that no new striker will actually be signed, and FSG will only spend 20m in the summer window. Against revenues of nearly 300m for the year.
Its shit being a mid table feeder club.
Agree with most of this. Most importantly for me is the fact that the club have said, on more than one occasion, that he will not be sold this summer. If anything other than this happens I’ll be massively f’ed off – it’s as much about the principle than it is about the player for me.
They did. But they’ve changed direction now suggesting they value Sterling at £50m, which is very different from ‘not for sale at any price, he’s staying’.
I have this saddening fear that we will end up flogging him to Arsenal for £30m and Jack Wilshire.
We probably won’t, but the scary thing is that if it did happen, Ian Ayre would think he’d done well.
We really need something to restore our faith in Ayre and the Dealmakers at LFC, they really haven’t impressed of late.
Well said. Good read that. His agent really hasn’t a clue has he?
No, that would be you. Massive difference between having a clue and being an arsehole.
Liverpool should sell him if they cant get him to sign a new contract..it would hurt because it further shows our decline but you cant cut your nose to spite your face.
At some point, the club needs to face reality and actually have a plan on how to be better at all levels.
Nah, his agent hasn’t played this well. Getting a large fraction of the support to the point where they would be happy to see him rot on the bench is a lose lose
I think the article makes another point too. What of other players looking on? Watching how this pans out. If we keep him and he spits his dummy out then he sits on 35k a week losing game time fitness and profile. He could be on 100k a week right now had he signed the contract. From the club’s perspective we then would have had a firmer negotiating stance for any offers coming in and he and his tragic agent would have earned extra income. He ddnt sign so if we keep him and he loses money, playing time and the other things then it is him who loses out..a lesson and a point made to other agents and players in he future. If he plays on and improves then he writes his own ticket. If we are to become Liverpool again then we need to show strength across the whole face of the club not just on the pitch…we need to build up again and that takes smarts. I have no confidence in us spending any fee on the right players so we need to be clever with what talent we have….both on and off the pitch….oh and maybe play the talent in the correct positions too…
Completely agree with this. We need to send the msg out to players, agents and other clubs that we will only let players leave on OUR terms or else we open ourselves up to being easily cherry picked later down the line. We need to stand firm here.
There isn’t a company in the world that wants disgruntled employees on its payroll, and football clubs are no different in that regard. If Sterling does stay he can’t be allowed to spread an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in the dressing room. Jordan Henderson faced off that slithering little worm Diego Costa on the pitch, and I have no doubt he won’t be shy about keeping Sterling from being the rotten apple in the bushel if needs be.
A lot of people think money and/or wanting to play against other Champions League players are the only things that drive and motivate footballers. It is true and it should be when players reach their peak, because a footballer’s career is very short compared to most other professions. They have to peak in their late 20s so they can have at least a few years at the top of their game before they begin to decline physically.
But a player just turned 20 can have a different view for a couple years at least. He can stay at a club where he can be a STAND-OUT star and build a strong foundation for that later peak. Philippe Coutinho understands this. Jordon Ibe understands this. Raheem Sterling does not. He lacks a strong father figure in his private life who cares about his longer-term well-being, and there’s a limit to how much Brendan Rodgers can try to guide and influence him. Managers may have the last word on whether a player is brought in to a squad, but they are not involved directly in contract negotiations — despite what some fans think from their experience playing Football Manager.
Liverpool had a difficult season due to a variety of dreadful factors, but we are not a ‘mid-table club’. The media doesn’t obsess over and constantly talk about mid-table clubs. You’re a mid-table club when they STOP talking about you — as has pretty much happened to Everton this season. Defeatism is a very dangerous mindset; it always ends in defeat.
Sorry Ellie, after your first sentence I couldn’t read the rest.
We are a football club, not a company, and I can’t abide the comparison.
Well, then I feel sorry for you because Liverpool Football Club most certainly is a sport business with an Executive Board, a legal team, a multi-million £ payroll, billion £ investment owners, substantial global commercial interests, and paying customers — yes, customers — for both tickets (entertainment) and millions annually in retail sales merchandise. Fans who still think it’s a little local ‘club’ for people who live in L4 are living in Shankly’s time, not the second decade of the 21st Century. THAT attitude is what will certainly ensure that Liveroool does eventually become and remain a provincial mid-table ‘club’.
Whilst I accept that no company wishes to have disgruntled employees on its payroll, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of workers in almost every company will, at some point, go through periods of disgruntlement.
He just wants to get back to London where he can have the craic with his buddies just like any 20 yr old of his generation would want. Simple as.
I totally agree with David here. It’s worth the risk, even if we lost him for nothing because it’s not a real loss. We had 22 million invested in Suarez & over 100k per week in Salary but we don’t have that invested here. It’s a very slippery slope once 20 yr old academy graduates feel that they can bully you into selling them.
I completely agree with the pieces sentiment, keep Raheem and try act like a club going places.
For me, the realty is the kid wants out, for whatever reason, so FSG need to sell. If Raheem stays he will get approximately 10/10 goals and assists. Moneyball states, get two lesser players to score 5/5 each. Sound familiar?
Acting like a big club for me means the following: get agreement for £50m and keep Raheem until replacements are at club. Get, by hook or by crook, De Bruyne and Walcott.
Walcott could get 10/5 goals and assists and De Bruyne 8/ 15. That’s moneyball at its best.
Don’t feel sorry for me Ellie.
We most certainly have a business side which the owners take a great interest in and are very experienced at running, pity they weren’t as interested or as experienced in the football side of things though and that’s what we’re dealing with here.
As soon as we allow a player, nevermind a 20yr old to dictate how we run our team then we really are on a slippery slope to nowhere. We may not be as strong as we want to be but when the situation is in our control we must show strength and not be bullied by anyone.
We can hold onto Sterling and 1 of 2 things will happen; he’ll either sulk and not play well while losing out on an extra 65k a week. Clubs may then lose interest in signing him and his England place would then be in jeopardy going into the Euros OR he’ll continue to improve (or at the very least keep playing well), push for a starting place at the Euros while we reap the benefits. If he leaves at the end of next yr we’ll still pull in a nice fee for him. You never know he may even have a change of heart and stay long term. Stranger things have happened. Opposition clubs, other players and their agents will then learn we will not be pushed around. Not by Suarez and not by Sterling.
I think it was abundantly clear twice with Suárez that LFC does not intend to be “pushed around,” and it will be again with Sterling. Have a bit of faith in your club mate. This is a tough time but it will get better.
And I believe that Citeh are quite catchable next season despite what others may think.
Jovetic and 30n
Would love jovetic
Augero + 10 million
He can invoke the Webster ruling in Summer 2016, we should sell him now but get players in exchange from Real Madrid; otherwise go to tribunal in 2 years,
Using the Webster ruling tends to be frowned upon by suitors.
Plus Ibe is better,
So Aidy Ward can do one
We’ve lost ‘great’ players before, and survived and flourished. But in those different days we were shrewdly managed and didn’t loud-mouth our interests every 5 minutes. Shocked when Keegan knifed us, but a moderately well-known Scot walked in. Rushie went to Italy and a local look alike took over in Aldo. Owen walked (still considers himself a Red, apparently), but his loss was barely noticed. Torres knifed us, but a controversial South American – already in the wings – salved that little heartbreak.
Sterling is not yet in the class of any of those. May be, one day, may not be. But if a club is daft enough to pay us close to 50 mil for a sulking player then take it. Just so long as we have the smarts to sell ourselves to a star.
When Shanjs signed Ron Yeats, Rowdy asked him where Liverpool actually was. “Top of the English first division, son.” Rowdy’s adviser said he thought Liverpool was in Division 2. “Aye”, said Shanks, “we are NOW.”
That’s what we need. Not to sell what we used to be, but what we WILL be.
Get a medium to channel Shanks, for all out sakes!!!!
I like the last 2 comments from Dave, getting in more good players, if not brilliant, can’t be a bad idea rather than having Sterling pissed off because he’s earning way less than he thinks he should for another year or 2 and wanting out.
Any other signings like Clyne, Jovetic, Walcott should improve the team.
Enough really good skillful players committed to the cause can make up for the lack of any brilliant individuals, Germany in the world cup were evidence of that. The recent liverpool signings apart from Lallana haven’t been good enough.
In others words keep Sterling another season to play under the youth coach-erratic Brendan Rodgers to tactically wreck his carear by playing him all over the pitch i.e goal keeper, i think Sterling figured that out last season, hence his wish to bolt.