Tottenham lost Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in similar circumstances and failed to adequately replace the Welshman.
But Sherwood sees hope for Liverpool in 19-year-old forward Sterling - and England striker Sturridge, when he returns to fitness.
"It is very hard to sign a world-class player, unless you happen to be one of the half-dozen super-rich clubs," Sherwood wrote in his weekly column for the Independent.
"Your best hope is that you have players at the club who could develop into that kind of footballer - and Liverpool have two of them in Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
"When you consider that Sturridge has suffered really bad injuries this season, you are then looking at putting all that pressure on a 19-year-old kid.
"For Brendan, it has been a tough few weeks. It would have been unprecedented had he actually won the league last season."
Liverpool host Chelsea later today, while Tottenham host Stoke City on Sunday.