Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans believes Raheem Sterling should pay the club back by committing his future to the Merseyside giants.
Evans compared the young winger to Steve McManaman , who left Anfield for Real Madrid in a controversial free transfer in 1999 after rejecting the club’s offer of a new contract.
McManaman enjoyed four successful years at Los Blancos and became the first English player to win the European Cup with a foreign club in his first season.
Sterling, like McManaman almost two decades ago, is stalling over a new deal at Liverpool, but Evans – who managed McManaman at that time – feels the Anfield fans were more obliged to accept the ‘Spice Boy’ leaving than a Sterling departure.
“Steve was there for 12 years – he gave the club 12 years of great football,” Evans told Sport360 while in the UAE as a guest of the Dubai Reds Supporters Club. “I think he was entitled to go. Obviously the club weren’t happy and neither were the fans, but he was a brilliant player.
“Sterling’s the new boy on the block. I think sometimes you have to pay a bit back. The fans would be very disappointed if he walked away to a Man City or Chelsea. If he has any common sense, I think he’ll do as he said he will do – discuss it at the end of the season and sign a new contract. Hopefully he will because I think that’s best for his career – to stay with Liverpool for at least another couple of years.”
Although both wingers were blessed with incredible pace and silky dribbling skills, Evans thinks there are plenty of differences between the two. He said: ”The difference with McManaman was that he was very intelligent as a footballer and came in from the wide areas.
“They both create opportunities with their pace – Sterling can run for short distances and McManaman could run for long distance passing players but they are both great players.”
Evans feels that as well as keeping Sterling, it is pivotal that Brendan Rodgers invests more wisely than he has done this season if Liverpool are to improve next season.
“We definitely need a striker because Sturridge is injured and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be back for a while.
“Hopefully Brendan buys two or three top players. He should go for quality rather than quantity, if they’re available of course. That’s always the difficult part.”
This eye-catching cream number by Reebok, with its huge red crest, was worn by the likes of Fowler, & McManaman. pic.twitter.com/8CQ5MGyIw9
— C11 Football Shirts (@Classic11Shirts) April 27, 2015
Evans, who was manager of Liverpool from 1994-2000, coached some incredible players but there are two that stand out as the most impressive professionals.
“Fowler and McManaman were special, Evans said. ”When they worked together they could create magic and score goals. They’ve always been my favourite two because they came through the system and became very successful at the top level.
“Over my 35 years of coaching, there have been many great players day in, day out – goalkeepers, centre forwards, and centre-halves… But they are the two I most enjoyed watching in my time.
If you would like to get involved in the Dubai Reds Supporters Club, they watch Liverpool matches at Goodfellas Bar Tecom and are welcoming to any interested members.
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