Steven Gerrard spared some time for Liverpool’s young starlet, Raheem Sterling, in his farewell press conference before his final game at Anfield against Crystal Palace this weekend.
The future of Sterling is in major doubt, after he publicly refused a £100,000-a-week contract earlier in the season, per the BBC. The 20-year-old appears to have his head in the clouds about a big-money move to another club.
Liverpool’s failure to qualify for the Champions League or challenge for any major trophy is bound to have had an effect on Sterling’s mind-set.
He is a young, hungry and ambitious character who does not want the talent he was born with to go to waste at a club with little prospects of challenging for the Premier League or the Champions League.
Gerrard is no stranger to wanting to better himself, having almost signed for Chelsea back in 2005, only to sensationally make a U-turn at the last second. The long-term skipper stayed at his boyhood club and won everything except the coveted Premier League title.
The 34-year-old club legend has urged Sterling to make the same decision he did a decade ago and stay at Liverpool for at least the next few seasons.
Gerrard told the Guardian, “Of course I’m biased but my advice to Raheem now is you have a manager who will believe in you and you can learn from and there is no one better than Brendan Rodgers for that.
“He should sign a new deal here. Brendan is a fantastic man-manager and puts a lot of time and effort into the development of an individual.
“The danger for these young players is they want it all too soon and they go chasing it. Then they go to another club and just become a number.”
Gerrard’s blunt assessment of the Sterling situation is bound to have an effect on any decision the winger makes about his future this summer. He will not want to make a rash judgement and leave Liverpool too soon, so perhaps another year at the club will be best for his development.