Liverpool contract rebel Raheem Sterling is refusing to sign a new £100,000 per week deal, report the BBC, even though his performances compare with former Kop flop Stewart Downing.
Downing has rebuilt his career at West Ham after his woeful spell at Anfield, and his performances this season match up well with Sterling, a regular pick for Roy Hodgson's England side.
The pair have the same number of combined goals and assists this season in the Premier League with 14, with Sterling scoring 7 and providing 7, Downing netting 6 and assisting 8.
Hammers winger Downing also creates a higher number of chances per game, at 2.3 per match on average opposed to the Liverpool ace's 2.14.
Sterling is far more prolific in terms of dribbles per game, but Downing's crossing accuracy and passing accuracy win out in both of those categories.
|Goals||Assists||Key Passes per game||Dribbles per game||Crossing Accuracy||Passing Accuracy||Appearances|
Sterling has the undoubted potential, at just 20-years-old, to go on and become twice the player Downing has been over the course of his career, but right now he is not there yet.
TSM report that Downing earns £50,000 per week at West Ham, having taken a cut of £80,000 per week which he was earning at Anfield.
The problem many, including Jamie Carragher who spoke last week to SkySports, have with Sterling's handling of his contractual situation, is that he is too young and has not achieved enough in the game to begin making big demands and start turning down huge salary offers from Liverpool.
If the winger can begin substantially outperforming Downing and elevate his game to the next level, then his moans Liverpool are not competing for trophies and matching his standard of play may begin to elicit more sympathy.