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Steven Gerrard: Anfield is still the best place for Raheem Sterling

By Jim van Wijk

Published 10/06/2015

Risk: Steven Gerrard fears for Raheem Sterling’s future
Risk: Steven Gerrard fears for Raheem Sterling’s future

Departed Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has warned Raheem Sterling he risks stagnating as a squad player if he succeeds in forcing a move from Anfield.

Relations between the club and the player's agent Aidy Ward hit a low last month when the Reds cancelled a meeting to restart negotiations over a new deal after comments from Ward suggesting the 20-year-old would not sign a new contract.

The England international turned down Liverpool's £100,000-a-week offer in January and all the noises coming from the player's camp since appear to have been designed to manufacture a move away.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid have all been linked but Gerrard believes Sterling risks losing regular football if he leaves Anfield.

"I wish I did know (what will happen) because I have been reading a lot about him myself," said the 35-year-old. "I think the only two people that know are Raheem and his agent.

"I think for the player's sake and for all of us fans he needs to make the decision quickly.

"I hope he stays. I think for his development as a player he has a fantastic manager to look after him, a great set of team-mates.

"I think it's important he plays week in week out, keeps trying to learn and strive to become a world-class player.

"I think the frustrating thing for me would be if he went to a club and became a squad player and just another number and he didn't have that chance to progress. That's the risk."

Gerrard, confirmed as a pundit for BT Sport's Champions League coverage next year, is preparing for his move to the MLS with Los Angeles Galaxy.

His departure turned out to be the first of many with fellow players Glen Johnson and Brad Jones not offered new contracts and assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh also lost their jobs.

"I was very surprised. I didn't expect there to be any changes in the staff positions," added Gerrard. "I think Brendan (Rodgers) and the bosses have made those decisions and I'm looking in with a keen interest to see who he puts alongside him and how he tries to strengthen his staff.

"I can't give you any insight or names because I'm now on the outside and don't have that relationship with Brendan any more.

"I am interested to see who he puts in alongside him and also to hear Brendan speak in a press conference to see why he has decided to make those decisions."

Former Reds assistant manager Pako Ayestaran, ex-defender Sami Hyypia and one-time Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen have all been linked with the posts.

Belfast Telegraph

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