Jan Molby: Liverpool strong enough without Raheem Sterling

Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby believes the club should sell Raheem Sterling if the forward does not want to stay.

Liverpool legend Jan Molby has stated in the Independent that he believes the club could cope with Raheem Sterling's departure.

The 20-year-old's future is up in the air after contract talks were put on hold in January, with a meeting between his agent Aidy Ward and chief executive Ian Ayre scheduled for later this week.

It does not look good for Liverpool, with reports earlier this week – such as those from the BBC - suggesting the England international will tell the club he will not sign a new deal, although Molby feels there is no point keeping hold of a player that is unhappy.

"If Raheem feels Liverpool is no longer the best place to be then I guess you have to bite the bullet and move him on," Molby said in the Independent.

"It is not like the sale of Suarez. You knew the impact that sale would have on the team - I am not convinced if you sell Sterling it will have the same negative impact.

"In my mind it might be the right time to sell because the club is in transition and maybe we could just do with that money.

"I think we need to move away from buying potential and buy off the top-shelf, ready-made players, who can go in and improve the team."

What Molby refers to here is a short-term fix which may split the Liverpool fan base. However, fans nowadays are more inclined to prefer that route - hoping for quick success rather than a consistent run of honours. In every walk of life, getting something done fast does not necessarily mean done properly.

There is no point in keeping a player than is unhappy, though. Football clubs can wind down their contracts at the consequence of a lower fee and they may not have the same player mentally at their disposal, resulting in a knock-on effect within the dressing room.

It's not an ideal situation for the fans either. This is a player adored by the Anfield faithful but now they're running out of patience. For instance, fans booed the 20-year-old as he collected Liverpool's young player of the year trophy at Tuesday's annual awards night.

"A lot of fans of Liverpool, steeped in the history, are not used to players wanting to leave so it has come as a bit of a shock," he added.

"It was different in my day, we were at the best club in the country then but we have been used to players dictating terms over the last five or six years.

"The club retains its status but as a team they don't and if players want to be guaranteed Champions League every season, history over the last five years tells you maybe it isn't Liverpool."

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