What shall we do, Reds?
Nearly every Liverpool fan has an opinion on the increasingly drawn out and publicised Raheem Sterling contract dispute…
The 20-year-old’s BBC interview, which wasn’t sanctioned by the club, is already infamous – and has divided the feelings of the Reds following.
While many are simply desperate for Sterling to agree a new deal with Liverpool, others are offended by his recent behaviour, and reckon we should cash in.
Here, the Liverpool Echo conducted a poll, asking fans who’s to blame for the saga, whether Sterling will stay, what he’s worth, what he should be paid, and what his departure would do to us.
The results – to be fair – are interesting…
Here at Empire, we very much think ‘Yes’, too. Back in 2013, Liverpool dug their heels in when Luis Suarez claimed he wanted to leave, and flatly refused to sell the Uruguayan – getting one more year out of him, and an even bigger eventual fee. Sterling has over two years left on his deal, so we’re not yet forced to sell. What’s more – Rodgers has flatly promised that he won’t leave in 2015.
Again – we agree with the public, here – although do think that as a club, Liverpool maybe should have tried to extend and improve Sterling’s £35k-per-week deal last season, when he was clearly developing into one one of the best young attackers in the world. However, the role of the agent should not be undisputed. Would someone just out of their teens turn down over £100k-per-week otherwise? We doubt it.
Is there any point being stubborn to our own detriment? We’re not sure. Fans clearly think we should dig our heels in – but if this sees Sterling leaving, turning into one of the world’s best players, and dramatically increasing his value – is it really sensible…? Liverpool are of course bigger than any player, and certainly bigger than Sterling, who is still a kid – so perhaps it’s our only choice. Although – we don’t think too many fans would be disappointed if Sterling signed a five-year £120k-per-week deal tomorrow, for instance. Or would they…?
He’s no Luis Suarez, but Sterling’s an important part of our first-team, and with Gerrard also leaving in the summer – the side that so nearly won the title in 2013/14 would have largely vanished. However – Jordon Ibe and Lazar Markovic are showing huge talent, and if we spent a huge lump sum on a direct replacement (Memphis Depay, Marco Reus, anyone?), we could get by.
This one’s blatantly obvious. If he goes – he goes for top, top dollar. Enough money for us to bring in a replacement of equal or greater current ability.