Liverpool

Liverpool Would Be Foolish to Let Raheem Sterling Leave on Loan

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Matt LadsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2014

Raheem Sterling could leave Liverpool on loan this month should Brendan Rodgers complete the prospective signing of winger Mohamad Salah, according to a report by Darren Lewis in The Mirror.

Lewis claims Rodgers wants to send the 19-year-old out on loan once a more experienced player is brought in—Swansea being one of several clubs interested in the player.

 

Salah vs. Sterling

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  John Obi Mikel of Chelsea and Mohamed Salah of FC Basel battle for the ball  during the UEFA Champions League Group E Match between Chelsea and FC Basel at Stamford Bridge on September 18, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo
Ian Walton/Getty Images

The first question here is, is a 21-year-old with no Premier League experience really more experienced that Sterling?

Yes, Salah has Champions League experience that Sterling does not—but he wouldn't be playing in the Champions League, he'd be playing in a completely different league to the one which he arrives from, the Swiss Super League—where he has only been for 18 months.

Compare that to Sterling, who now has 42 Premier League appearances and has been impressive since his return to the side following Daniel Sturridge's injury recently.

If anything, Sterling would be the more likely to continue in Sturridge's absence, and Salah be the one eased into the squad as he adapts to the Premier League.

 

Sterling going out on loan wouldn’t of been a bad idea about a month ago. But not now. His form has picked up with a run of games.

PeteKopite (@PeteKopite) January 3, 2014

 

Sterling's Progress

Sterling has been much improved since his reintroduction to the side in the dismal defeat at Hull. The goal at the end of the Norwich game buoyed his confidence and the following match against West Ham saw Sterling's best performance since the start of last season.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Luis Suarez (C) and Raheem Sterling (R) of Liverpool congratulate goalscorer Philippe Coutinho during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Man
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The teenager has been using his pace effectively from the right side of attack, doubling as a second forward when Philippe Coutinho drifts inside and drops deep from his position on the left. The fluid triangle has been effective and despite defeat at Manchester City, Sterling gave the Citizen's defence plenty of problems.

After this recent progress, a loan move could break up his development and affect his confidence, as well as unsettle him personally—something that could prove troublesome for Sterling.

 

Don't believe a loan move for Sterling anywhere is even being discussed, let alone in the works w/ Swansea. Signing Salah won't change that.

— Simon (@TalkingAnfield) January 3, 2014

 

Options

With Sturridge to be back from injury this month, Rodgers will finally have the luxury of having a competitive squad where he can rotate players ahead of the end of season run-in.

The last thing Rodgers should be looking to do is reduce his options again just because of one signing.

Rodgers needs all the options and depth within the squad for the end of the season as he aims to maintain the push for a top four finish. There is no way he would be so foolish to reduce the depth of his squad at such a crucial time.

 

Other Loanees

If a winger were to be heading out on loan, surely young Jordon Ibe would be more likely, probably to a Championship club.

Meanwhile, if Swansea were to sign a Liverpool player on loan, Iago Aspas would be more likely and beneficial. Aspas is a peripheral figure, struggling to get any time even with Sturridge out—he'll struggle even more once the England forward returns.

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