Is Raheem Sterling Worth His New Liverpool Contract?
Footballers can rarely do anything without getting responses from the supporters, and this fact is never truer than on social media.
More specifically, it is never truer than when the fans want something from a player. And Liverpool fans want nothing more from any player than for Raheem Sterling to sign a contract.
A glance at his social media responses would be enough for anybody, whether they’ve ever kicked a ball or not, to tell that people want him to sign a contract. But why? Yes he’s a fast paced English winger, and yes he’s one of the best prospects in the game at the moment. However I suspect that many would trade that in a heartbeat for a proven player: a match winner.
It’s important to remember that I’m not saying Sterling won’t go on to be just that, but it is more than worth looking both inwardly and outwardly at what a world beyond Sterling could entail. Working from the £180’000 that the youngster would reportedly reject, the list of players he would out-earn would feature some of the best on the planet.
Zlatan Ibrahimović. Frank Ribery. Sergio Augero. All names Raheem Sterling would earn more than; and their not exactly scraping a living themselves.
So what about Melwood? There’s certainly no shortage of talent there either, with players breaking through faster than they can be loaned out. So with one who has made it now prepared to turn his nose up at a record breaking contract, now is as good a time as any to look at some who are battling to make the squad at Anfield.
You’ve heard this before: pacey, skilful winger with potential for England and Liverpool alike. But perhaps his story might not follow the profile of those who have gone before to the letter; having been loaned out to Wigan shortly after making the squad for the first time, it seems that on this occasion Rodgers is looking to help his players develop in a competitive environment. Whatever the next step for Sheyi Ojo, he will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sterling and Ibe.
Having just described Ojo as a future Ibe, it feels only right to emphasise the reason we’re even discussing these players: they are young. They are young, and with that comes uncertainty – this is why you never see anybody discussing the credentials of the likes of Marco Reus, or contrastingly Stewart Downing. They have both reached an age where, irrespective of their actual ability, people no longer see them as having potential. So to summerise, whilst the jury is still out early signs would suggest Ibe may fall closer to the Reus end of the scale.
Again a player who has been fast tracked to the subs bench at Anfield, finding himself an unused substitute on multiple occasions, only once coming on. That is not to say of course that he lacks the credentials of a future star; before his recent loan to Notts County, he put pen to paper on a new 2 and a half year extension deal with the club – if that doesn’t highlight how highly he is regarded, not much will.
But where are the scousers? Where’s the kid who grew up on Stanley Park? He’s currently on the injury table, suffering with ankle trouble. But what’s far more interesting is where he’s going; at 17 he already boosts a senior goal, albeit against Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup. There’s an air of the Steven Gerrard about the midfielder, with his commitment to the cause and passing range evident even now, and many will hope that he can be the next player to go from a childhood in the stands to a career on the Anfield turf.
That’s right: Sterling is a promising talent at Anfield. A fact many seem reluctant to accept is that regardless of what he has achieved so far, the most exciting part of the winger’s career is very much before him. And that is why the Anfield faithful want a contract signed, and fast. But the underlying point is this: it’d take a brave man to say that Liverpool would be better without Sterling, but it’d take a sensible one to remember that Liverpool’s one is a bright one, whether or not Raheem chooses to sign.