Given the general consensus that player agents are amongst the most powerful people in the world of football, Aidy Ward’s most recent statement regarding Raheem Sterling’s future will be worrying news for Liverpool supporters. Essentially, the agent claims that Sterling will not extend his contract beyond 2017. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that Ward’s comments will lead to a speculation-filled and busy summer for Liverpool’s management.
In a way, such sagas make the football world particularly interesting, but what they also do is to distract from some basic truths. The reality is that, in football, marketing-related and financial exaggerations can often reach levels that strike a chord with the pre-recession housing bubble. In other words, how much is a player like Sterling really worth, both financially and symbolically? Well, there is little doubt about his skill, but that does not make him exclusive.
The reality for Liverpool is that they will have to eventually replace a player that scored seven goals and assisted another eight, making a total of 15 scorer points this season. In addition to this, not much came from Sterling in terms of leadership, but that might not be expected from a 20-year old to be fair to him. The prospect of losing the likes of Coutinho or Can might therefore be more frightening for the Kop faithful, thankfully for them, this does not seem to be on the cards.
In any case, if The Reds can get a transfer fee in excess of £40 million, they should be happy and grateful that crazy football club owners are happy to pay for bubbles. If this one ever bursts, although we do not wish for that to happen, it will be Liverpool profiting eventually.