Liverpool transfer news: Raheem Sterling sale will make sense if Brendan Rodgers buys well

Sterling allegedly grew disillusioned with playing under Rodgers, but Liverpool manager can rejuvenate squad with £49m windfall

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The Independent Online

It is imaginable that amongst those who represent Raheem Sterling, there was a sense of amusement when Brendan Rodgers was photographed without the 20-year-old at his side yesterday as the Liverpool manager carefully tried to explain at a Bangkok hotel why club and player had separated on good terms.

Supposedly, Rodgers was snapped all-too frequently with an arm around Sterling’s shoulder during training sessions at Melwood – a byzantine attempt – they say, to make it seem like a father was at work, attempting to guide his son on the righteous path: through career and through life.

But Sterling, who was too tired to play for England last season, was now tired of Liverpool, allegedly too tired of Rodgers’ sidling and most certainly tired of belatedly being told he was only worthy of becoming the third most valuable player in fiscal terms at the Premier League’s sixth-placed club, while the second-placed club were prepared to make him the most expensive Englishman in the history of football.

 

Those making the significant decisions at Liverpool, however, consider that Jordon Ibe has as much if not more potential as Sterling. So, having secured a five-year deal for someone who wants to be there in May for a fraction of the wage being offered to someone who does not, the Sterling move represents good business: £49m in the coffers will be seen as a decent transaction by those inside Anfield.

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Rodgers can continue Liverpool's development if he buys smartly

The process means Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward instantly becomes a millionaire and it is clear he has not always given his client the best advice in how to secure his move away from Liverpool painlessly: that BBC interview, the no-shows at training leave a sour taste. For Sterling, no doubt, his new earnings reflect what he – and Manchester City – believe he is worth.

Liverpool supporters are left to lurch between the consolation of the astronomical figure Sterling’s transfer has pulled in and the winger’s departure meaning for the second summer running, Liverpool have lost arguably their most exciting talent – and this time simultaneously strengthening a rival.

Liverpool, it will be put forward, have become a ‘selling club’, but this ignores the fact that historically, they have not been defined by the players they’ve sold but by the players they’ve recruited. Ever since Kenny Dalglish decided it was necessary to send chief scout Geoff Twentyman into early retirement upon his appointment as player-manager in 1985, it is an area Liverpool have struggled in and to a large extent explains why they have not won a league title in a quarter of a century.

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Liverpool are currently on tour in the Far East

Rodgers has a mixed record in the transfer market at best during his time at Anfield and needs to use his swollen piggy bank wisely in the coming month if he is not to attract more criticism. He is now buying under more pressure than he would have been had Sterling remained. Liverpool’s next move – likely to be for the Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke – must prove to be the correct one - and Ibe must be helped to improve. Then the decision to sell Sterling will be vindicated.

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