England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he fears for the futures of a number of his younger players, who he believes could follow a similar path to that of Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.
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The 20-year-old has been involved in on-again-off-again contract talks with the Reds all season long and the situation now looks to have reached boiling point, with an agreement seemingly unlikely to be reached.
Speaking on Thursday, Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward positively slammed us in a verbal attack in the Evening Standard, labelling former Liverpool great Jamie Carragher ‘a knob’ and claiming his client wouldn’t accept an offer of £900,000-per-week to stay on Merseyside.
Sterling’s performances on the pitch have been steadily declining ever since this media furore began around him, with Hodgson now fearing that many of his other young England stars will be drawn into similar situations.
In quotes taken by the Liverpool Echo this week, he said: “I worry for all these young players, to be honest. They become stars very quickly. Their period of potential stardom doesn’t last for very long these days.
“Sometimes a few games in the Premier League and you are a star. Jack Grealish is a good example of that, isn’t he? A few months ago he was playing in Aston Villa’s reserves. Suddenly he’s in the first team and now we regard him as a star as well.
“We should never forget we’re dealing with very young people. I believe from what I know of Raheem that he’s strong enough to compartmentalise his life – from this side to what happens on the field of play, which is what interests me, but I do sympathise with them.”
Surprisingly, Hodgson has for once made a decent point regarding a Liverpool player. Sterling’s rise to the top has happened incredibly quickly and it’s easy to understand where it might all have gone wrong. Having such an unhealthy influence in your ear can easily cause you to be led astray. Let’s just hope we get some answers soon!