Manchester United legend Gary Neville has slammed Liverpool for failing to modernise and remaining a ‘provincial’ club amid speculation that another Reds star, Raheem Sterling, wants out of Anfield.
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The Reds have dominated the back-pages since news broke that Sterling informed Brendan Rodgers, prior to their clash against Chelsea earlier this month, that his desire is to leave Merseyside at the end of the season, BBC Sport reported.
Following a miserable underachieving season at Anfield, a busy window of business for Rodgers is expected. Similar to last summer when goalscoring talisman Luis Suarez was sold, it appears that another high-profile name is set to leave the club and, at 20-years-old, this is a player whose future should not be uncertain.
In his column for the Telegraph, Gary Neville has had his say on the controversy involving the England international – and has leapt to his defence.
The Sky Sports pundit believes that is no surprise that the young winger wants to move onto ‘bigger and better things’, as Liverpool Football Club is stuck in the past, and is failing to think outside of the history of the city.
He wrote, ‘There is a wider context to this story and it centres on how Liverpool have gone from being from one Europe’s great superpowers to one which is in danger of becoming a provincial club.
‘The prospect of losing Sterling will be a major concern for everybody connected to the club, but the uncomfortable truth is that this is nothing new for Liverpool,’ the former Red Devils skipper continued.
‘Just look back over the past 10-15 years and count the number of players who have left Anfield to pursue bigger and better things elsewhere.
‘Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez have all gone.
‘Steven Gerrard is also being allowed to leave and, although his circumstances are different, there is no way in a million years that Liverpool should be allowing him to pack up and sign for LA Galaxy.
‘If you compare Liverpool to Manchester United over the same period of time, I can think of only one player – Cristiano Ronaldo – who left when he wanted to go, rather than when Sir Alex Ferguson wanted it to happen.’