Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling was booed by his own fans throughout England’s 0-0 draw in Ireland at the weekend amid major doubts over his long term future at Anfield after he turned down a lucrative contract over earlier in the season, per the BBC.
Sterling seemingly wants to move away from Liverpool in order to play in the Champions League and win trophies but his ambitions have angered many neutrals.
Some believe he has treated a historic club like Liverpool with little respect and he should not be demanding a transfer away from Merseyside whilst he is still so young.
The 20-year-old is a huge talent, who is obviously very ambitious and wants to better himself by challenging at the highest level regularly, and he will command a gigantic transfer fee if he leaves Liverpool.
Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne knows what it feels like to be in Sterling’s position. He was also catapulted into the spotlight at a young age and he thinks the Liverpool man should use the boo-boys to his advantage.
He told Sky Sports: “The boon side of it (the booing) is enjoy it. I always say it might take 40,000 people to upset one guy but one guy can upset 40,000 by sticking the ball in the back of the net.
“The only reason they’re booing you is because they’re scared of you, the fans are scared of you, they don’t want you to play well, so you try and ignore it, join in with them, have fun with them and relax when you play football. I did, and I didn’t bother with the crowd and I always won them over anyway.
“He needs to take it as a compliment that someone cares for him. The thing to worry about is when they stop talking about you.”
Gascoigne played in an era where there was less money to tempt young players away from the club which gave them a first-team opportunity and that put less pressure on them to perform consistently. His former teammate Stuart Pearce thinks Sterling has been thrown into the spotlight far too early.
He said to Sky Sports: “In some ways it’s like when the Paul Gascoignes of this world were catapulted into the England senior team at a very young age.
“There were times when maybe his form dropped a little bit and he had to be supported but the glare wasn’t as bad then, and he could probably navigate a career a little bit easier.
“Nowadays with youngsters we catapult them far too early and then obviously, all of a sudden, with the likes of (Ross) Barkley and Sterling, and various other youngsters, they need to be given time to develop, not catapulted too soon, and certainly not written off too soon but you have to build up a mental strength if you’re going to be a top international player.”