With Liverpool’s talks with Raheem Sterling over a new contract now on hold until the summer, Liverpool fans seem torn on how much the 20-year-old is worth.
Sterling is clearly a valuable asset in Brendan Rodgers’ forward planning at Liverpool, but how far should the club go in terms of securing his future with a new long-term contract?
According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo this should not approach anywhere near the most recently reported figure of £150,000 per week.
“I don’t think Liverpool will give in to £150,000 a week. Speaking to people at the club, it’s clear they have no intention to pay him that much.
“I’m baffled as to how his representatives are turning their nose up at £100,000 a week.”
However, at 20 years old Sterling is one of the most important players in Rodgers’ squad, can play to a high level in a wide variety of positions, and is set to become one of Europe’s best attacking talents.
Despite the much publicised mid-season break in January, Sterling is Liverpool’s joint second most used player this season – only Jordan Henderson and Simon Mignolet have made more appearances (44 vs. Sterling’s 43), underlying his importance in the side.
So should Liverpool make an exception with the forward?
This is Anfield’s Neil Poole toyed with the idea last week:
[pull_quote_center]Football has always and will always make exceptions for exceptional players.
The question though, is he exceptional enough to deserve the ultimate exception of the unprecedented contract and salary for a player of his age that seemingly he and/or his agent is looking for?[/pull_quote_center]
Poole’s line of thinking conjured much discussion from Liverpool fans, as ever, and the Merseyside faithful seem split on how far the club should go to keep Sterling.
Some questioned Sterling’s value in comparison with other Liverpool stars…
[pull_quote_center]Sterling is English and therefore overhyped, I do like him but he’s asking for double what Coutinho has just signed for and Coutinho has more potential. Talk of him going to Real Madrid is clearly his agent leaking stories, he wouldn’t make their bench. Having said all that I do want him to sign but if he left it wouldn’t be like losing Suarez. – shadowlfc[/pull_quote_center]
[pull_quote_center]Coutinho (and his agent) had absolutely no problem in signing a new contract, and I’d say Coutinho has as much if not more potential than Sterling. Then again, Coutinho’s pretty down to earth, appreciates the opportunity he’s been given, wants to concentrate on his football and develop as a player. – JohnE[/pull_quote_center]
[pull_quote_center]Stevie G was not a top earner until he was 25 years old; by that point he captained a Champions League win against all odds and won the treble. What makes Sterling that much more special? – El_Skittles [/pull_quote_center]
Others noted just how much of a contribution to 20-year-old has made so far…
[pull_quote_center]45 games 12 goals 8 assists this season so far, one of our best players, plays where ever he’s put and does a job there as well. Massive potential needs to be kept it’s a business deal let them work it out we should support the lad and not kick off about it. – Gary Devine [/pull_quote_center]
[pull_quote_center]This line of thought of not making exceptions for exceptional players is how LFC missed out on C. Ronaldo. Given that BR rates and plays him like he is a top player, pay him and move on. – goldsphinix[/pull_quote_center]
While some offered a sensible, business-minded approach to the debate…
[pull_quote_center] He should be given a good level of basic wage, him and Hendo should both be offered £100K a week contracts…He then needs to have targets set for both himself and the club to force pre-agreed bonus and increased basic over the course of a five year contract. The best players in the world are getting over £200K a week now, he should be on a contract that enables him to get up near that over the next five years. – sibeer[/pull_quote_center]
[pull_quote_center]The answer has got to be a performance related contract. That’s the only way for minimizing risk and having both parties come to an agreement. I don’t like the situation either, but I don’t want us to lose him. – Abyss[/pull_quote_center]
Where do you stand in the debate over Raheem Sterling’s Liverpool future? Let us know in the comments below.