John Aldridge: Jordon Ibe will be a better player than Raheem Sterling
Liverpool great John Aldridge has urged the club to sell wantaway winger Raheem Sterling, insisting that Jordon Ibe will develop into a better player.
Sterling, 20, has been heavily linked with a £40 million switch to Manchester City, with Liverpool reportedly holding out for £50m.
But Aldridge hinted that the Reds should accept the current offer as the transfer was “making a mockery” of them, especially since they already boasted a fitting replacement.
"Raheem is obviously a hugely talented player but Liverpool have a top replacement in Jordan Ibe," Aldridge wrote on Kicca.
"I’ve been watching Jordan play since he was 15. He’s a terrific player and has bags of potential.
"In fact I think he’s got as much if not more potential than Raheem and will go on to be a better player."
He was named man of the match on his debut – a goalless Merseyside derby with Everton – and became a prominent member of the Liverpool squad until injury scuppered his sudden rise.
"Sterling is obviously too young to think for himself so his agent has been doing his thinking for him," Aldridge continued.
"For the sake of Liverpool Football Club they should take the millions on offer and then everybody will be better off.
"Raheem will be a bit richer and Liverpool will be rid of a player who doesn’t want to play for the club. It’s a win-win.
"Manchester City are a big club and Raheem will get paid well and play Champions League football so he will be happy.
"And life at Anfield will go on without him because he’s certainly not bigger than the club."
Aldridge is getting ahead of himself. It’s ludicrous to suggest Ibe will surpass Sterling when there’s only a one-year age gap between them. Sterling, a Golden Boy winner, was contributing to a title challenge in 2013/14; Ibe was only making a handful of appearances at the same stage in his development.
The former Republic of Ireland international is correct about something though. Liverpool should sell Sterling to City, sooner rather than later. There’s nothing worse than having a transfer drag out across a summer – it will only damage the club's reputation and they risk having an unhappy player in their squad if Manuel Pellegrini suddenly turns his attention elsewhere.