A whole host of former Liverpool players have been having their say over the Raheem Sterling saga this week, with their opinions ranging from the begrudgingly acceptant to the down right outraged.
As BBC Sport reported earlier this week, Sterling is set to tell the club that he wants to leave this summer, when he meets with our representatives on Friday. The youngster has rejected a new £100,000-per-week contract offer and is believed to be targeting a move elsewhere, with Manchester City the current favourites.
Sterling has two years left on his current deal, which is worth in the region of £35,000-per-week. It is understood that Liverpool want him to stay, with our owners prepared to play hard-ball over any potential sale.
Only 24 hours after this story, the BBC confirmed that Sterling was booed by a section of Liverpool supporters during the club’s end of season awards, in which the 20-year-old won our Young Player of the Year award.
While some jeered, other fans shouted pleas for him to stay, as we begin to step-up preparations for next season, looking to ensure an immediate return to Champions League football.
You can see the latest expert opinions in full below:
Jamie Carragher (The Guardian)
“For a 20-year-old kid to be taking on Liverpool Football Club over a contract. To the pit of my stomach that just winds me up, it angers me. To do what he’s done now. There’s nothing worse than that. You keep your mouth shut – get on with playing football.
“It might not be about money. It may be about trophies or playing in the Champions League. If it’s about trophies, Liverpool had a chance for a trophy this year, in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Aston Villa. Where was Sterling? If you want trophies, they don’t get given to you, you have to earn them, you have to play well in big games. What did Liverpool do in the Champions League? Nothing. What did Sterling do? Nothing.”
Dietmar Hamann (Twitter)
If Sterling wants to go let him. We not won much with him so we will be ok without him. We need players who want to be here and commit.
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) May 18, 2015
Glenn Hysen (Daily Mirror)
“The big names in Europe don’t choose Liverpool any more. Twenty years ago you could take that for granted but today they choose Bayern, Barcelona, City or Chelsea because they can win trophies there. I think it’s ****ing sad, but I’m not going to shy away from the facts.
“Are you ****ing kidding me? 100,000 pounds and he is still not satisfied? That’s just daft. He’s a great talent, he has some really good moments, but he hasn’t had the same impact lately. He’s good up to the point when it’s time to finish, he’s quick as hell, but when he shoots it just gets very weird.
“He’ll get to play at Liverpool. If he chooses Real Madrid he’ll be on the bench. How fun is that? There is no limit to how great he can become, but to do so he has to play.”
Phil Thompson (Daily Mirror)
“Raheem Sterling is a good player. He is not a great player. He’s not the superstar he perceives himself to be. For the money he is asking, £100,000-a-week, I don’t actually think he is worth that. I basically think it is greed.
“If this was Luis Suarez, I’d say give him what he wants. This boy is 20 years of age and learning his trade still. Whether he will get the money he wants, I am not quite sure. But I think in these last six months, his mind has been made up through his advisers that the best thing to do is seek the next step of his career elsewhere.
“I think Champions League, Europa League has nothing to do with this. It’s all money driven. The club shouldn’t have to do anything more. They have gone as far as they can and it will be extremely difficult to come back from this.”
John Aldridge (Liverpool Echo)
“Everyone who’s in football is saying the same thing – the agent is doing him no favours. It’s really bad. It’s all made him (Ward) look very foolish and very amateurish. He’s got himself a lot of publicity but I’m sure young footballers will be looking at it and thinking you wouldn’t want to be with him.
“He’s been a shadow of the player he can be for the last month or two. But the place for Raheem Sterling is Liverpool, of course it is. I’ve watched him progress for five years, I saw a lot of his games from when he was a 15-year-old through my work with LFCTV and he’s far from the complete player yet.
“He’s got to work hard to get there, he’s got the right manager in Brendan Rodgers and he’s going to get lots of games. I want him to be at Liverpool for the rest of his career. If he can endear himself to the fans again then there’s no reason for him to leave Liverpool. From where we are I’d be surprised if he stayed but I’d love to be proved wrong.”
John Barnes (BBC Sport)
“Raheem has great potential, but Liverpool gave him an opportunity and he should stay. Does anyone believe that if he goes to Manchester City he will be the first name on the teamsheet or are they just signing him because they need English players?”
“We have seen it with players in the past like Scott Sinclair. The time is not right for Raheem to move, but if he wants to move the club should sell him. The manager cannot keep an unhappy player. This idea of leaving one huge club to join another huge club does not sit well with me, but it is a modern era where the power is in the players’ hands.”
Mark Lawrenson (BBC Sport)
“[This is] absolutely everything wrong with football at the moment with these young players. It is a very, very strange situation. This is a lad who needs to stay at the club for at least two more years to improve every facet of his game.”