Raheem Sterling has been causing a stink on and off the pitch for several months and it’s high time Liverpool realised the right moment to sell the contract rebel is now.
No matter your own football allegiance Sterling’s refusal to sign a refreshed deal at Liverpool is an ugly situation to say the least, but with a reported £40m now on the table from Manchester City, an obvious resolution presents itself.
Whichever forces are pulling the strings, it’s hard not to see Sterling as something of a puppet in all this, claiming his ambitions are preventing him from signing on at Anfield, rather than a desire to swell his own coffers considerably.
It’s true that Liverpool’s comedown has been a brutal one this season having put one hand on the Premier League trophy in 2013/14, but Sterling has to accept he is partly responsible for this.
Here are three compelling reasons why the right time to cash in is now:
£40m is about £10-15m more than Sterling is really worth right now
Potential is one thing, fulfilling it is another. However, for a forward who has played as a central striker for much of his time during the season just gone, a career return of 23 goals in 124 appearances is modest.
Paul Scholes has been among Sterling’s critics this season for the way he strikes a football when presented with chances.
Sterling has pace to burn and trickery in abundance, but at one point last season the 20-year-old went through a 21-game goal drought.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, just ask Manchester United how they feel about Paul Pogba’s subsequent progress at Juventus, but right now Sterling is not a £40m player by any stretch.
He will be a disruptive influence in the squad
When stand-offs like this run as deep as this one, they can only manifest themselves in ill feeling within the camp in general.
Sterling’s presence may cause animosity from other players and having already been in trouble for various misdemeanours, it’s not as if the club will be losing a role model.
The Jamaican-born Londoner may be more trouble than he’s worth in the long run.
Liverpool have a ready-made replacement in Jordan Ibe
It’s a little simplistic to label two players as the same, but if there is a version of Sterling waiting in the wings then it is Ibe.
Brendan Rodgers felt comfortable throwing the teenager into the breach on several occasions last season and Ibe responded with aplomb in big games such as the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
Ibe loves to take players on, he’s quick and very strong like Sterling too and the 19-year-old has just penned a fresh deal at Anfield.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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