So the talented but petulant Sterling and his agent are gone from the building. We have in exchange a whopping £49 million and one less trouble. But this is not the time to sleep and gloat. Aside making sure the funds are well spent to improve the team it is time to ensure that this Sterling saga, a revised version of the Suarez saga does not rear it’s ugly head again.
Phil Coutinho is arguably one of our most influential and talented players. But he’s on a wage(reported to be £70,000 per week) lower than Skrtel and Milner receives twice as much as him. Milner is a good acquisition, but definitely not twice the talent Coutinho is. I know it’s not all down to talent, demand and supply play a great role. But in Economics when the forces of demand and supply create distortions interventions are made. That is why LFC needs to be proactive rather than reactive in Coutinho’s case.
We know Phil won’t throw tantrums and resort to sick notes and unsanctioned BBC interviews. But how many thought Raheem could do that a year ago? The point is when there is an agent like Aidy Ward in the equation the noble Phil can become the “brat” nobody wants around. It would have been a totally different situation if LFC had given Sterling a new deal on the back of 2013/14 season. Say an £80,000 a week deal for 5 years and you are sure we may not have had this situation on our hands. It has been reported that his contract had stipulations for when talks for fresh terms could be triggered. But when you have agents like Ward and when the team has a wretched season like last season, you cannot just stand and wait for the clock to keep ticking. When clubs like City are prepared to pay any amount, you cannot leave your best players on deals that see them rewarded far less than their talents and going market values dictate. You just don’t have to act; you have to act first. You are in trouble if the player and his agent make the first move. They may have scanned the environment and sounded out suitors, in which case even good deals like the £100,000 LFC was offering Raheem won’t be accepted.
A line is well and firmly drawn under the Sterling saga. Hopefully one is also drawn under the ponderous and reactive way the club went about the contract issue. Sterling is gone but there are other great talents in the club. Coutinho is one of the biggest of these talents. His goals and all round play thrilled Anfield last season. In a wretched season, he provided something worth shouting about. His performances and talent is sure to keep attracting admirers. Not too long ago Ronaldinho was playing him up as a natural fit for Barcelona. More performances like last season’s is sure to swell the number of admirers. When the admirers come and he is still sitting on a salary lower than Skrtel and wide apart from Milner’s, whiles being one of our best performers, it may not be long to add him to the list that has the names of Suarez and Sterling.