As the Raheem Sterling saga runs and runs, the Liverpool winger has had warnings concerning his departure about him possibly not being a regular starter at Manchester City, Real Madrid and so on.
And the player they cite as the supreme example of someone who ‘left too soon’ is Scott Sinclair.
There were plenty before Sinclair who went to a so-called big club and were made surplus to requirements, but he has become THE reference point for premature evacuation.
Poor Scott. When he left Swansea City for Man City, one thought was 'you idiot! You’re never gonna get a game there! You had it made at Swansea,' while those psychic among us would have added 'bet you’d rather play regularly and win a League Cup with the Swans than be stuck on the bench for a team challenging for the title’ – which is what happened in his first season at City.
Another thought was ‘good on you, Scott. Show them what you’re made of.’
Dangers of moving too early
We may have had both thoughts in our mind, but it would have been the former that was most prevalent. You could apply these feelings to Jack Rodwell, too – another whose career stalled in Manchester.
So what are the similarities between Sterling and Sinclair? Both played under Brendan Rodgers and impressed; both had and have hairstyles that wouldn’t look out of place in a 'edgy' boyband; and their surnames both begin with the letter ‘S’. Erm, I THINK that’s it.
Difference is whereas yes, Sterling will, you would think, feature more heavily for Liverpool than City or Madrid should he stay at Anfield, the winger would undoubtedly muster more appearances in a season at City than the 13 Sinclair made in over two years with the club.
Then again, this is not a leaving-Swansea-for-Manchester City situation, this is Liverpool we are talking about; historically the biggest club in England when it comes to honours, including European titles.
What should Raheem Sterling do?
Unlike Swansea you expect them to be challenging for titles and competing in the Champions League, although unlike Sinclair, Sterling is considered to be one of the best young players in Europe.
Having said this Sterling could be better off staying at Liverpool with guaranteed regular football and the very real possibility of competing for those top honours that City and Madrid are more likely to be closer to.
Whatever way you look at it, you just don’t know for certain, so the decision from Sterling should be the one that makes him feel most comfortable – on a spiritual level more than anything.