With multiple reports of Real Madrid’s interest in Raheem Sterling surfacing every now and then, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have made it a priority to try and resign the talented youngster. However, that has been more difficult than they expected since he has reportedly rejected two offers from the club. Sterling is arguably the most talented player to come out of the Liverpool youth academy since Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and he will most likely become the face of the team after the Gerrard leaves at the end of the season.
Although he initially struggled with maturity issues at the beginning of his career, he has become much more disciplined since the birth of his daughter and it looks like he is unlikely to make any more bad decisions as he gets older. People forget that he is a 20 year old who became very famous out of nowhere and he probably has to deal with a lot of temptations being thrown at him from every direction.
Playing in the hole behind the formidable duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Sterling was a revelation for Liverpool last season. He scored 9 goals and provided 5 assists in his second full year of being a first team player. He took advantage of all of the space that was available to him since most opponents tried their best to stop the “SAS” attack, with little success.
However, this season has been much more difficult for Sterling without the two strikers in front of him since opponent defenses have made it a priority to stop him. He struggled to find space to run and make use of his speed at the beginning of the season when the team as a whole struggled to play with each other.
A recent shift to a 3-4-3 formation with Sterling at the top, has led to a recent uptick in form for every player. The formation allows for a more open style of play that takes advantage of the fantastic passing and movement that the players on the team posses. Although he still lacks the finishing ability of the best strikers in the world, Sterling’s speed and dribbling ability allows him to get past the opponent’s defense and create space for himself to shoot.
Liverpool cannot afford to let a player as talented as Sterling leave the team, therefore they must not be cheapskates and believe that they can find another player similar to him who is on a less expensive contract. The team’s owner, John Henry, must pull out all the stops to keep the young player on the team, he should probably think about the possibility of making Sterling one of the highest paid players on the squad.