Having committed his long-term future to the club, Liverpool vice captain Jordan Henderson had some advice for a young teammate and it’s just the sort of counsel Raheem Sterling ought to listen to.
After signing up at Anfield for five further years, the natural successor to Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool throne chose his big moment as the perfect opportunity to try and sway Sterling’s decision.
“I’ve known Raheem for a good few years now. He is a good friend of mine and my teammate,” Henderson said.
“He has just got to do whatever he thinks is best but, if I was giving him advice, of course I would say: ‘This is Liverpool’. I think this is the best place for him.
“I hope he stays here and develops with us. He will be a big part of what we are looking to do.”
Henderson, approaching his 25th birthday in June, is the kind of player who leads by example on the pitch, a model professional by all accounts and in all probability the next captain of Liverpool.
In short, he knows what he’s talking about. It’s no secret that Sterling has delusions of grandeur, believing he may well be best off leaving the Reds behind to set about filling up his trophy cabinet elsewhere, while earning an eye-watering amount of money in the process.
If Henderson is happy to sign for £100k per week, then Sterling, nearly five years his junior, certainly should be.
The finances aside, Henderson is spot on that Sterling’s development is in far safer hands at Anfield than his most likely destination of the Etihad, should rumours be believed.
With the exception of James Milner, who arrived in his prime from Aston Villa, Manchester City has proven a real graveyard for young English outfield talent in recent times, in a squad saturated with internationals.
Adam Johnson, Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair have all seen their burgeoning careers hit the buffers with City where they’ve ended up marooned on the bench, while at their previous clubs they were afforded starts every week.
In terms of trophies, the champions’ ageing squad has failed miserably to retain their title, while Liverpool have come within a whisker of making two domestic finals.
Yes, the Champions League will be a big pull and it looks as if Liverpool will miss out, though with Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho following Henderson’s suit, there’s a good chance the squad can get back into the top four next season – quoted at 6/4 with Ladbrokes.
As in many walks of life the grass can often appear greener, but in Sterling’s case, he should listen to uncle Jordan.
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