Raheem Sterling’s Liverpool future hangs in the balance as the forward refuses to sign on the dotted line, leading to fresh speculation an England teammate could be the one to replace him at Anfield.
Theo Walcott’s name has been linked to Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool in transfer windows past and given the Arsenal man is also engaged in negotiations over his Emirates deal, the scene could be set for a dramatic sequence of events this summer.
Walcott has been on the fringes of the Arsenal team since returning from his second protracted stint on the sidelines this season, so he may well be receptive to a switch.
Clearly Liverpool do not want to lose Sterling. He’s still only 20 and viewed as one of the club’s most valuable assets having clocked up over 100 Reds appearances so early in his career.
One of the poster boys of Rodgers’ youth revolution, Sterling has reached double figures in goals for successive seasons, earning universal praise for his adaptability to lead Liverpool’s line in big games this term.
However, the youngster’s head may have been turned. His performances over the past two seasons have led Real Madrid to emerge as shock suitors and since then Manchester City are also thought to be coveting the speedy forward.
Although Walcott is six years Sterling’s senior, he has a similar profile in many respects.
Versatile enough to play anywhere across a three-pronged attack, the Arsenal man also has pace in abundance and chips in with his fair share of goals for the north Londoners – when fit.
The overriding drawback is Walcott’s chequered injury record, which will alarm fans of the 9/4 FA Cup shots, whose main concern will be the Reds trying to keep Sterling at all costs.
Ironically, it is Sterling’s wage demands which could well see him turn his back on Liverpool if reports are to be believed.
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