OpinionJohn Aldridge

Knob turning Sterling's the only one I see

John AldridgeBy John Aldridge
Knob turning Sterling's the only one I see

RAHEEM Sterling’s agent had the audacity to describe Liverpool great Jamie Carragher as a knob a few days ago, but there is only one knob in this ugly story it is the clown representing a young player who now needs to be sold as quickly as possible.

We all know that Carragher was right to say Sterling needed to change his agent and the response he got for making that comment summed up the kind of character we are dealing with. Football does not need people like this and Liverpool should get what they can out of his client and make sure they never do business with him ever again.

I know that Liverpool will be giving in to this joke of an agent if they agree to sanction a big money move for Sterling but let’s keep some perspective here as we consider a kid who is still a potentially a decent talent.

This kid is no Luis Suarez and if any club is willing to give Liverpool £40m of £50m to sign Sterling, they should snap their hands off and reinvest the money by signing players who actually want to be at Anfield.

Sterling is 20. He has done okay in the Liverpool first team and turned in a few half decent performances with England. He has done quite well, but for him to be holding Liverpool to ransom over a new contract and then demanding a move at this stage of his career is ridiculous.

This is a kid who has loads of flaws in his game. He is quick and a decent dribbler, but his conversion rate of chances is poor and his final ball leaves a hell of a lot to be desired.

All that may well come if he is handled in the right way at a club that will look after him, yet this idiot who is running his affairs is in danger of making him very rich and ruining his career all in one crazy summer.

There are plenty of decent agents in the game, but the fella Sterling has got himself involved with is a classic example of an individual who drags the good name of those who work in the profession through the dirt.

He wants to cash in on Sterling now and I can almost guarantee that he has been tapped up by another Premier League club and is fully aware of the kind of money his client will get if he moves to Chelsea or Arsenal.

In addition, his fee if Sterling signs a new contract at Liverpool will be a few hundred thousand pounds, yet that sum will treble if he is negotiating a big money transfer. Therein lies the true motive behind this move.

Unfortunately, Sterling seems to be heavily influenced by this agent and he will not realise that his career will be sacrificed in a bid to make a quick buck, but I believe the time is right to let Raheem go off and conquer the world – as I’m sure his agent is telling him he will – away from Anfield.

Liverpool should go and get Christian Benteke (inset) from Aston Villa as that guy would guarantee 20 goals next season and if Sterling ends up at Arsenal, why not try and get Theo Walcott as part of the transfer? If you can keep him fit, Walcott might be as good as Sterling anyway.

The tragedy of this story is Sterling is now destined to be cast forever more as a money-grabbing youngster who got too big for his boots and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him warming the bench at another club next season as he struggles to live up to the expectations created by his agent.

Sterling is nowhere near ready for all the hype that will come if he makes a massive move this summer and you have only had to look at his performances in the last few weeks to appreciate that he is already losing some of his edge amid this messy contract dispute.

Liverpool already have a ready made replacement waiting to step in for Sterling in Jordon Ibe and as Steven Gerrard says goodbye to Liverpool, we should remember what genuinely top class players are all about.