One of the least surprising transfer sagas has finally come to an end. Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have finally sold the want away Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for record breaking fee of 49 million pounds for a British player.
Despite all the drama with regards to his refusal to practice and whether he was going to be included on the squad which will go on tour to Asia, the split was inevitable. The relationship between Sterling and Rodgers had deteriorated significantly and it would not have been a smart choice to keep the winger any longer.
Because everyone knew that it was almost certain that Sterling was going to leave, Liverpool have been able to prepare for his departure. The club has been extremely active this summer with the addition of players such as James Milner, Roberto FIrmino and Danny Ings, signings that will help the team both in the short and long-term.
A few of the players bought last term such as Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic should be better this upcoming season after being in Merseyside for a year. Rodgers has proven that he is great at developing young players and he should be able to find a way to replace Sterling’s production on the field.
Even though losing a player of Sterling’s talent will always hurt, it is better that the team was able to sell him this summer rather than holding on to him during the season and having him be a locker room nuisance. Compared to his teammates in Liverpool, he hasn’t been the cleanest and most approachable player and everyone knows how important team chemistry is to building a successful club.
When he should have been a team leader alongside players such as Philippe Coutinho and new team captain Jordan Henderson when the squad was struggling last season, Sterling was often a player who focused too much on himself. He would often go one-on-one against an opponent instead of passing to an open teammate and he would also refuse to track back when the team lost possession.
With the deal more or less wrapped-up, Liverpool can now focus on thinking about where to spend the money, do they pursue an elite talent or do they continue the trend of signing a young player who could become a superstar? Also, now that the saga is over, the players on the squad can now focus on building team chemistry and on the upcoming season instead of answering questions about Sterling.