Why Liverpool are wrong to expect loyalty from Raheem Sterling

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Liverpool may feel hard done by in this ongoing Raheem Sterling transfer saga, with fans slamming the 20-year-old for being greedy, arrogant, and above all disloyal to the Reds when he seemingly owes so much of his success in his career to them.

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On the face of it, yes, Liverpool have done great things for Sterling; they have given him the chance to play first-team football in the Premier League, playing alongside some world class players such as Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge in his career so far, and making him a key part of how they play in an exciting attack-minded side.

At the same time, however, what can Liverpool really expect in the way of loyalty in this increasingly corrupt modern game, something they themselves are very much part of? Fans have short memories, but Sterling didn’t exactly show loyalty to his first club Queens Park Rangers, whose youth team he swapped for Liverpool’s back in 2010.

That is the footballing food chain at the moment: Liverpool may be above QPR and many other clubs, and while they are they will continue to poach the best talent and best youngsters with the view of improving their own team. Once these players go on to become proven top class performers like Sterling, there’s little they can do to prevent the even bigger predators coming along and doing the exact same thing to them. Liverpool fans may not like it, but they are currently behind the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich on that food chain, and arguably even their top four rivals Manchester United and Arsenal.

Liverpool cannot take the morale high ground while they continue to be part of the problem themselves. At the end of the day, they are in a far more priveleged situation than a team like QPR, in that they will actually have a chance of making serious money out of his exit, as opposed to the £600,000 compensation paid to Rangers when they snapped him up five years ago. The Daily Telegraph reports that it could be as much as £50m they hope to receive, and that money will no doubt go on testing the loyalty of players at smaller clubs elsewhere. And so the cycle continues.

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