Liverpool legend John Barnes has advised that Raheem Sterling should stay at his current club and reject the idea of a move away anytime soon, as it could be detrimental for his career.
The England international’s exciting performances at Anfield have seen plenty of plaudits aimed his way, and with his reputation steadily growing he’s been linked with Real Madrid. The Spanish giants are always on the lookout for their next ‘Galactico’ purchase, and given Sterling’s reputation he could fall into that category by the end of the season.
Yet Barnes, who played for Liverpool for 10 years between 1987 and 1997, has warned that the 20-year-old risks ruining his career if he departs too early, and suggested that Sterling say put instead.
“If I was Raheem Sterling I would stay with Liverpool for the next three years," Barnes said, according to the Daily Mirror.
"I’ve seen it with other young players, a lot to do with their agents, a lot to do with the money they have been offered, that they rush off to.
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“Of course Liverpool is a big club, but the temptation must be to go to Real Madrid or Barcelona or wherever, but the danger is that you can be lost to the game, and I can give you so many examples, like Jack Rodwell who went too early to Manchester City and Scott Sinclair who also went to Manchester City.
“With all due respect to clubs like that, they might turn out to be worse for them, and they end up going back and then not getting a move.
“I would advise young players not to rush, but to stay at their clubs until they are 23 or 24.”
Whether or not Sterling sees it the same way is open to interpretation, with the youngster still yet to put pen to paper on a new contract. Recently Steven Gerrard issued a public statement declaring his hope that the winger signs an extension to stay with Liverpool, but as long as the issue remains unsolved fears will remain.
Of course Reds fans will be keen to see him pledge his future to their club, given how influential he could be to their fortunes, but if they fail to secure Champions League football for a second consecutive season he might begin to see a move away as a better alternative.
Allure of Real
With Real’s name long having been associated with the pinnacle of club football, they have an immediate advantage, though it’s true that Sterling’s development might suffer were he not given adequate game-time.
As such to remain with Liverpool is the more sensible option for his development, particularly given that he has so many years left in which to make a big-money move anyway.
Liverpool fans, do you think Raheem Sterling will stay or go this summer? Let us known in the comments box below...