Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has warned Raheem Sterling that he’s naive to think that he’d walk into Arsenal’s team, and should think twice about joining the Gunners instead of signing a new contract to extend his stay at Anfield.
As the Daily Express reports, Arsenal are just one of a number of teams to show an interest in the 20-year-old – who said he was flattered by their interest during his controversial interview with the BBC earlier this week.
However, Carragher believes that Sterling would struggle for game-time at the Emirates Stadium, due to the quality of options Gunners boss Arsene Wenger already has available to him.
He told reporters: “First, he was desperately naive to say such a thing on the eve of such a crucial game. He is also naive, as are his advisers, if he thinks Arsenal would guarantee him a regular place every week.
“What Sterling’s camp are struggling to see is that Liverpool is the best place for him. Forget money for a minute. This is about football and his development. He will start the vast majority of games at Anfield. Would that be the case at Arsenal? No.
“He wouldn’t play as a centre forward there ahead of Olivier Giroud or Alexis Sanchez. Being a No 10 would be out of the question, as he is not like Mesut Ozil or Santi Cazorla, which would mean a battle with Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott to start wide right.”
The Express adds that Arsenal’s interest was made public following Sterling’s rejection of a new £100,000-per-week contract, that would have seen him extend his current deal with Brendan Rodgers’ side well beyond the summer of 2017 – when it is currently due to expire.
Sterling has been one of Liverpool’s star performers so far this season – scoring ten goals in all competitions – and these latest reports have left the Reds’ supporters uncomfortably recalling a similar scenario involving Luis Suarez, when he almost quit the Reds for North London in 2013.