With the January transfer window fast approaching, you can be sure that a whole host of players will be linked with moves to and from Liverpool. The Mirror is reporting that Liverpool may be ready to let Raheem Sterling leave on loan in January but only if an experienced replacement comes in.
Firstly, a loan move for Sterling to another Premiership side or even a team in the Championship would be beneficial for the 18-year old winger. The key for this loan would be to get Sterling playing more regular football. He had an opportunity last season as he featured regularly under Rodgers but this season he has hardly had a look-in. There is no point sending Sterling out to another team if he is not guaranteed to get regular football. We have seen how well Suso has been doing at Almeria now that he is playing more and something similar needs to happen to Sterling.
With the current 3-5-2 system that Rodgers is using, there is no room for a winger like Sterling. So if 3-5-2 is going to be the preferred formation for the season then there really is no point keeping Sterling if he won’t even get to play in his natural position when called into the team.
Sterling is at that stage in his career where it could be make or break and thus he has to be handled well. There is no doubt that he has bags of potential and now it just needs to be nurtured and regular football will help with that. If Sterling does go out on loan, Rodgers has to make sure that his new club continue to work on his technical abilities in tune with him becoming a winger. Sending him out on loan to a club which will try make him into a striker will not work!
On the suggestion that Sterling will only leave if an experienced player is bought in makes sense. If Rodgers does opt to revert to 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 then wingers will be needed and an experienced campaign would help with our push for a top four finish. Liverpool have been linked with a move for Spanish winger Diego Capel. If a player like Capel does join Liverpool in January then it further adds to the need for Sterling to go out on loan.