Raheem Sterling has been hitting the headlines again this week, with Jordan Henderson’s signing of a new contract intensifying the focus on the fact that he’s still planning on holding out until the end of the season.
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Liverpool transfer news
Henderson, who was quoted by the Liverpool Echo upon completion of his five-year deal, has already urged Sterling to follow his example, while the youngster has hit back at his critics in the Daily Mirror, claiming he’s concentrating on his football rather than what the fans have to say.
As both sources explain, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid are among the clubs queuing up to take the England international away from Merseyside, while Brendan Rodgers is still fighting desperately to keep him, at least according to Sky Sports.
This saga looks set to run and run and it begs the question – what are we fighting so hard to keep? Whether Sterling is worth all the fuss is something that we won’t know for some time. However, a prediction of his ultimate potential surely needs to be made as soon as possible to calm the media furore and aid us in our decision.
Below, we make the case for why he should stay and why he should go…
Why we SHOULD keep Raheem Sterling (by Glen Harrington)
Raheem Sterling remains one of the finest young talents in world football. People lose sight of the fact that this kid is just 20-years of age. The wealth of expectation on his shoulders is bordering on the ridiculous and we need to remember that he can’t always be expected to deliver week in, week out.
Despite all the criticism, he’s still our top scorer this season – with 11 in all competitions – while he’s bagged crucial goals against Tottenham, Southampton and Chelsea – all more than creditable opponents. This represents an improvement on the ten he scored last term and a massive rise on the two he scored during his first full campaign.
As ever with an exciting English talent – the media spotlight being placed upon him is cruelly strong. Anything he does on or off the pitch, we’re going to know about it. At the risk of sounding like Jose Mourinho, he’s been the victim of a campaign, one that has been killing his reputation.
His agent has not been helping matters. By now, we all know about the role Aidy Ward has played in Sterling’s ongoing problems (via the Daily Express). His greed and power over a young boy who just wants to play football is highly concerning and underlines the damaging nature of modern-day football.
We can only hope that Sterling realises that he’s better off continuing his development at Anfield, rather than sitting on the bench in Madrid or London. There’s no doubting that he’d be wasted there.
While £100,000-per-week might seem like a lot to keep hold of such a young and relatively inexperienced player, we need to prove to our rivals that we’re not a selling club and are capable of holding onto our best players.
Why we SHOULD NOT keep Raheem Sterling (by Tom Simmons)
As far as I’m concerned, we should led the lad rot! He’s been nothing but a pain in the proverbial so far this season, with his ridiculous demands detracting and distracting from our season.
The departure of Luis Suarez and the injury problems of Daniel Sturridge have exposed his mediocrity. While last season he was made to look brilliant thanks to the time and space created by the players around him, this season has proved that he’s not capable of taking over that sort of mantle.
Suarez could produce even when he was being targeted by two or three defenders, Sterling’s influence is too easily isolated and removed from the game, it’s really that simple.
People always bring up the fact that he won the Golden Boy award, given each year to the planet’s best young player. Well, so did Mario Balotelli, Alexandre Pato and former Manchester United flop Anderson – big deal!
In Jordon Ibe, we’ve already got ourselves a better version of Sterling. Someone who’s stronger, more direct, with a better footballing brain. He’s equally as quick, equally as young and has the solid grounding of building a career in the football league rather than coming straight into a team as big as Liverpool.
There’s no question that we need to strengthen this summer – both in midfield, following the imminent departure of Steven Gerrard – and up front, where the hopeless Balotelli, Borini and Lambert triage will all surely be put out of their misery. The £50m plus we could raise by selling Sterling could go a long way to helping with that.
For Sterling, it’s a case of you’re more trouble that you’re worth. He doesn’t want to stay – fine, let him go.
Let us know who you agree with and tell us your view below…