A surprise choice to many, I am sure. However the Belgian has been under increasing pressure this season following a far from convincing first season at Anfield.
It’s clear to see that his confidence has taken a severe kicking and if he can’t handle the scrutiny, then it will only increase. He possibly needs to be taken out of the limelight somewhat by moving abroad or to a lesser team in the Premier League.
This may not be a decision the player will take himself because you don’t just give up the once in a lifetime opportunity to play for a club as prestigious as Liverpool. So Brendan Rodgers may have to take the decision for him.
He started well enough on Merseyside but gradually Mignolet has become a liability in the Liverpool defence and his confidence has become brittle. Strong criticism from former legend, Bruce Grobbelaar and a host of other onlookers, has only made things worse.
Rodgers has taken his struggling keeper out of the media spotlight on a few occasions, dropping him for a handful of games, including their trip to Old Trafford.
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Assessments have been made and judgements passed, so it will be difficult for a man struggling for confidence to rediscover his Sunderland form, which made him a Liverpool target in the first place. Moving on to pastures new may give him the relief of a new start and help him rediscover some much needed form.
With less attention on how he plays, the young keeper may thrive a little more. A move could help his form, confidence, reputation and eventual goalkeeping ability. He may not like to hear it but leaving Anfield could be the right thing to for the sake of his career ultimately.
Under Brendan Rodgers’ guidance, Sterling has evolved from a rough young winger into a potentially world class talent. Those that watch him on a regular basis will have marvelled at the quality of the player and it would appear that the sky is the limit for the Englishman.
Still a teenager, Sterling doesn’t need to panic just yet but a time will come, possibly in the near future, when he needs to move on to bigger things.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are two European giants reportedly keeping a keen eye on his progress and you feel that will be his level in the future. If Liverpool continue their plight, more and more pressure will be put on Sterling’s young shoulders to spark a revival.
This isn’t beneficial for his development and neither is playing in a side coming under such intense scrutiny for poor performances. He won’t be able to flourish as he would like, or has the potential to, in a team of generally under performing teammates.
However for now he is still very young and Liverpool is the right place to keep on progressing as a player but if he continues his rapid rise, a move away will become an inevitability. He has it all – speed, skill, surprising strength, vision, intelligence and fantastic technique. At times he has performed like a man of much greater years and has carried his side in some games.
As seen with Luis Suarez, when Europe’s elite come knocking, it can be difficult for the Merseyside club to hold on to their star men. A mega offer is bound to be placed for Sterling some time and will Liverpool’s hierarchy be in a position to contemplate turning it down?
If he is to become the player he is tipped to form into, then he will make it to the top of the game and if he is to do that he must leave his current employers in favour of a move to one of the very top tier clubs.
For differing reasons to Sterling. You certainly cannot say he is too good for Liverpool or that huge offers from Europe’s elite will come in for him, but Lucas should still leave to improve his career like the young Englishman.
The Brazilian simply isn’t appreciated enough at Anfield. People have sneered over his ability since he controversially replaced Steven Gerrard in a Merseyside derby to make his debut under Rafael Benitez a few years ago.
He hasn’t been outstanding in his time at Liverpool but he has been solid and in my opinion, underrated. He has been overshadowed by Gerrard in midfield, who has been playing the glory passes and chipping in with goals – to understandably gain all the plaudits.
However, Lucas has worked diligently and quietly, performing solidly during his years at the club. His tenacity and screening of the defence as well as tidiness in possession, has at times gone unnoticed.
In the wake of Gerrard’s departure to the MLS, he will most likely gain more playing time and perhaps more plaudits. Although fans will be calling for more glamorous names to be brought in to strengthen the squad, to lessen his chances of staying as an established starter in Brendan Rodgers’ line up.
He has been linked with a move to Serie A and I feel he would gain more recognition in Italy. The pace and style of play would be more suitable for a player of his kind, as opposed to the fast-paced, end-to-end Premier League. Therefore a move away would be for the benefit of his career.