Three reasons why Liverpool won’t miss Raheem Sterling
Three reasons why Liverpool won't miss Raheem Sterling following the forward's £49m move to Manchester City
Despite Brendan Rodgers publicly stating that he has no issue with Raheem Sterling, the uncomfortable nature of this ongoing transfer saga must have negatively impacted the Liverpool dressing room. It is well-documented that Sterling was poorly advised by his agent, but when one of your very best players is making a desperate attempt to leave the club despite being offered £100,000-a-week, something is badly wrong. Now that Sterling’s transfer to Manchester City is complete, the other players can begin to prepare themselves for the new season and enjoy training without subconsciously thinking about the player who was again missing through illness or had simply refused to come on tour. The steady and popular Jordan Henderson has been made club captain and he will be eager to move on in this new role with a fresh squad of new arrivals that are looking towards the future at Liverpool instead of the past.
Regardless of attitude, Sterling is a very good player; his return of seven goals and eight assists last season was consistent if not spectacular. Another member of the Liverpool squad will need to take responsibility and contribute similar figures if they are not to feel the young Englishman’s absence this season. New signing Roberto Firmino should be more than capable of producing similar statistics. He managed seven goals and ten assists for Hoffenheim last season and his silky displays should excite the Anfield Kop and help soften the blow of Sterling’s exit.
Plenty has been made of the £49m Liverpool will receive from Manchester City for the transfer of Sterling and rightly so. Admittedly the value of young English players has been grossly inflated in recent seasons but it’s difficult to remember a club spending almost £50m on mere potential. For a fee so substantial, you must surely expect the finished article and Sterling is not that. He is still extremely raw at 20 and his finishing and composure must improve if he is to develop in to a truly world-class footballer. Liverpool legends Jamie Carragher and John Aldridge are amongst those who believe that the club have done excellent business by securing the full asking price despite the fact Sterling’s exit was inevitable. If Rodgers is allowed to reinvest the fee on playing staff, he could significantly strengthen his squad before the start of the season and Liverpool could be a serious threat next season.