Its the talk of the town and predators creep up in the woods waiting to pounce as Liverpool fight to keep a hold of their youngster Raheem Sterling after a dramatic unfolding of events in the past few months. The 20-year-old reportedly turned down a tidy £100k-a-week deal, which would extend his stay with the Reds past 2017, before turning to the BBC for an interview without the authorization of his club in an ill-fated attempt to denounce his ‘money-grabbing’ label.
After two damaging Premier League defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks, followed by the semi-final exit in the FA Cup against a spirited Aston Villa side; the Reds’ Champions League qualification hopes are in tatters in addition to their 3rd season without any silverware. Sterling’s contract breakdown has caught the eyes of many admirers across Europe with the youngster being linked with European superpowers across the continent, including Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. With the big names and big money calling in the summer, Sterling could very well force a move if Liverpool do expectedly fall short of a top four place.
Reports that Sterling might be off from Liverpool with prices soaring to nearly £50 million and while that would be big bucks for Liverpool; they would lose out on a talent that has been described as a future superstar in the world of football.
Nothing is irreplaceable in football and the club is bigger than any individual so if Sterling does leave Anfield this summer, who could Brendan Rodgers bring into fill the void left behind by the crown jewel of the Liverpool Academy in the past few years? Here is a look at Three Possible Reinforcements Liverpool have been linked with which could soften the blow of losing Europe’s ‘Best Young Player’.
Luciano Vietto (Villareal)
At 21-years-old, Argentine attacker Luciano Vietto is one of the most coveted names in world football already after a standout season with Villarreal in La Liga. The Argentine forward has bagged 18 goals in all competitions, particularly starring in the Europa League underlining his pedigree in European competition. The Reds are reportedly leading the race for his signature after having been linked with him consistently for a few months now, although Real Madrid and Inter Milan are also monitoring his development.
While not exactly a like-for-like replacement for young Raheem Sterling; Vietto is a far more clinical prospect than the young Englishman for the Reds. His ability to play across the front 3 with ease is something Brendan Rodgers would be particularly excited about.