Three very talented Premier League strikers—Wayne Rooney, Christian Benteke and Luis Suarez. All three of them already earned a fortune, but two cornered their clubs into approving huge pay rises and the other is working on it right now.
Let's start with Rooney. He's a multiple league title winner at Manchester United and a European champion, so he can certainly justify his worth to the club. But I still believe he should have played his way to a new deal, rather than getting his way with threats.
Rooney basically told United to pay what he wanted, or he would leave.
One week, he's posturing and apparently on the way out of Old Trafford; the next, Sir Alex Ferguson has his arm around him, and Rooney is staying at United.
It's not the right way. Just consider the message it sends to a player like Michael Carrick—a guy who goes out and lets his football doing the talking. You can play your way to a new deal, or you can pout your way to one.
Moving on to Benteke, who plays for my beloved Aston Villa. It was Villa who took a gamble on him—they paid out £8 million to Genk and saw a talent they thought fit for the Premier League. There were no offers from Barcelona, or AC Milan or Real Madrid.
Villa gave Benteke his platform, and the way he repaid them was handing in a transfer request to pressure the club into a massive pay rise, as per BBC Sport.
It's just not the right way. And now, he's playing poorly for the club and failing to justify that new deal. Villa are struggling, and the man they're paying huge money to is simply not delivering. He should have let his football do the talking and earned the deal that way.
Finally, to Suarez. As per David Maddock of Mirror Football, Liverpool have begun negotiating a new deal with the Uruguayan. Speculation suggests they're ready to make Suarez one of the highest paid players in the world, but in my opinion, it's the player who owes the club—not the other way around.
Liverpool stuck by Suarez, through the Patrice Evra racism storm and the Branislav Ivanovic biting incident, and they've already demonstrated their faith in the player. They should be paying him what he's worth, as per his current deal, and not be pushed into giving him more money.
Suarez hasn't taken Liverpool into Europe. They haven't qualified for the Champions League while he's been there and there's no guarantee they will this season either. Talk of him in the same league as Liverpool legends like Kenny Dalglish is absurd at this stage.
How do you think offering Suarez a spectacular new deal would sit with some of his Liverpool team-mates?
That's the problem with what's happening with these players. They get their way, and the result is an unhappy, unsettled dressing room. It's unsustainable financially, and it's bad for football, because the wrong message is being sent out to their fellow professionals.
Players should earn new deals with their performances on the pitch, not by throwing a tantrum and threatening to leave every time they want to bolster their pay packet.