Steven Gerrard warns Raheem Sterling Anfield exit could be backwards step

Departing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has warned Raheem Sterling he risks stagnating as a squad player if he leaves Anfield.

Steven Gerrard warns Raheem Sterling Anfield exit could be backwards step

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 stating the 20-year-old would not sign a new contract. Sterling turned down Liverpool’s £100,000 (€136,000) 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 think the only two people that know are Raheem and his agent,” Gerrard said. “I think for the player’s sake and for all of us fans out there 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 is currently preparing for his move to Major League Soccer with Los Angeles Galaxy.

His departure from Anfield, confirmed back in January, turned out to be the first of many with fellow players Glen Johnson and Brad Jones not offered new contracts and, following an end-of-season review, 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 improve or strengthen his staff moving forward.”

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