Neville on 'horrific' Sterling situation - Liverpool are best club for him

The former Manchester United man had some stark advice for the Liverpool star.

Phil Neville is a former player that is unlikely to have much sympathy for Liverpool, considering the fact that the retired full-back's career was split between Manchester United and Everton, two of the Reds' fiercest rivals.

But even the former Toffees captain seemed to have sympathy for Brendan Rodgers' side when he was speaking on Football Focus on Saturday, in light of the club's contract issues with Raheem Sterling this week. 

"The Raheem Sterling situation has just been horrifically mismanaged," Neville said. "Liverpool just have to pay hardball with him now. He should be concentrating on playing football, because he's at the best club for him, a club that's helped him develop.

"It's fine having agents but there comes a time when you have to take ownership of your own career as well, and sign a contract that you want to sign. If in two years' time he wants to go and play for Real Madrid he can still do that, so long as his career continues in the right direction."

Neville also questioned quite what Sterling thought he could achieve if he were to get a move away from Liverpool, looking at quotes the England international gave to BBC Sport that he was looking to play as far forward as possible. The former United defender asked whether the 20-year-old is currently a good enough striker to oust the first-choice forwards at Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United.

"If Raheem Sterling wants to play centre forward then he's at the best club for that," added the 59-cap ex England man. "If you look at Chelsea's team there's Diego Costa, if you look at Manchester City there's Sergio Aguero and at Manchester United there's Wayne Rooney. Liverpool have stood by him and given him a platform to play. He should just be concentrating on his own football."

Sterling went on to have a mixed game at the Emirates as Liverpool crashed to a 4-1 defeat against Arsenal. Picked in that central attacking role, he failed to capitalise on a couple of promising moments in the first half, but won the penalty that Liverpool scored from after the break, in a wider attacking position.

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