Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Glenn Hoddle believes that Raheem Sterling is not quite in the right state of mind amid speculation over his future at Liverpool with performances suffering, The Daily Star report.
The Reds’ exciting winger has hit the headlines in recent weeks, as talks over an extension to his current contract have yet to yield any fruitful result.
Sterling’s current contract – thought to be in the region of £35,000-a-week as per The Daily Mail – expires in the summer of 2017, and interest in him is said to be building.
With the Merseysiders keen to tie him down to a long-term deal, The Daily Mail go on to state in their report that both the club and player remain ‘miles apart’ over wages, among other terms.
The lengthy process isn’t healthy for the parties involved, and Hoddle feels that Sterling’s performances at Anfield have already dipped as doubts over his future grow.
"Raheem Sterling is a young man and very talented player. His head is in a spin at the moment and you can see it in his game. It's not what it was two or three months ago,” Hoddle explained, as reported by The Daily Star.
“There's something going on in his mind. The quicker they get that done [the better].”
|Date||Goals per Game||Shots per Game||Key Passes per Game||Take-ons per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances|
|Raheem Sterling||01/08/14 - 31/12/14||0.21||2.53||2.42||3.21||5.21||19|
|Raheem Sterling||01/01/15 - Now||0.22||2||1.78||2.44||4.22||9|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the England international’s performances over the past three months have clearly dipped in contrast to earlier in the campaign.
Despite scoring on average slightly more in 2015, the 20-year-old’s figures have dipped quite dramatically in other key attacking areas such as shots on goal, key passes and successful dribbles.
Moreover, his decrease in ball recoveries from an average of 5.21 per Premier League encounter to an average figure of 4.22 suggests that his intensity and eagerness to press high up the pitch has dropped.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is in a tricky spot. Does he rest Sterling in the run-in for a top-four spot, or should he stick with the talented winger in the hope that he can return to top form?
Either way, regardless of where the Anfield side finish this season, it might prove futile in convincing Sterling to remain at the club especially if Real Madrid decide to come calling in the summer.