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13 Jul 2015

I Quit: After Sterling fiasco, 'outstanding' Liverpool attacker asks to leave Anfield

Hot on the heels of the Raheem Sterling contract fiasco, it appears that another one of Liverpool's talented youngsters is actively trying to engineer a way out of Anfield.

According to the Liverpool Echo today:

* Jerome Sinclair is 'in dispute with the club over a new contract'.

* The 18-year old striker and Liverpool are 'well apart' on terms on a new deal.

* Sinclair has 'asked to leave the club' and further talks are likely to be held.

Sinclair sparked speculation about his future over the weekend when he posted the following tweet:

"Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be! Exciting times though! New chapter pending, Can’t wait to see where this year takes me.”

Sinclair scored 22 goals for Liverpool's U21 team last season, but like so many others before him, it looks like he's crashing and burning at Anfield:

* If Sinclair and Liverpool are 'well apart' on the terms of a new deal, then there are (IMO) two possible areas of conflict: Money, and/or assurances of being a regular part of the first team squad.

* In this case, I'm inclined to go with the latter possibility. When it comes to money, Sinclair has no bargaining position, and he's eminently expendable, which rules out the possibility of going the Raheem Sterling route.

* If it's a game time issue, then Sinclair's alleged wish to leave is understandable. Why hang around when the chances of breaking through are slim-to-none? The Reds have two new strikers this season, plus another one (possibly) on the way, so Sinclair can probably see the writing on the wall.

* Sinclair may also be demotivated. Instead of promoting him from the Academy, Rodgers signed Ings and Origi, and another striker will probably signed before the new season starts. This is normal at Anfield, though, where the development of promising young players is continually stunted by needless new signings.

* Take Origi, for example: Did Liverpool really need to buy him? Why not just put Sinclair in the first-team squad, and save the £10m transfer fee for a striker who is only one year older?

* Additionally, Brendan Rodgers ignored Sinclair for Liverpool's pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, which is, in all fairness, a gigantic snub, especially after his first-team appearances last season.

After making the breakthrough, Sinclair probably expected to kick-on, but that doesn't appear to be on the agenda. As such, why should he hang around, and spend the next 12-18 months being farmed out on loan?

In my view, Sinclair should follow Tom Ince's example and quit Liverpool. Ince surprised many when he left Anfield at the age of 18, but he went on to play regularly for Blackpool, and gain valuable experience.

Sinclair (and all the other youngsters toiling away in Liverpool's acadmey) should take note of Ince's reasons for quitting Anfield. In 2013, he told The Telegraph:

“It [leaving Liverpool} was the best move I ever made. It built me physically and mentally. I say to any kid at 18, if you get the chance to play in the first team of a lower division club, take it. It’s so much better than playing in development football.”

Former Blackpool boss Ian Holloway also backed Ince's decision, and criticised Liverpool (as I have many times in the past) for stunting the development of young players:

"What held him [Ince] back was he went to a club [Liverpool] that had an academy and there was no way through. He got fed up with that so he came and learnt his trade here. He has been absolutely unplayable for us".

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Liverpool's academy system is an abject failure, and should be scrapped and replaced with a reserve team system, principally for players aged 21+.

What is the point in spending millions every year on signing/coaching/developing dozens of teenagers if there's practically no chance of becoming a regular for the first-team?

Raheem Sterling is the exception to the rule.

* The Mercenary is the only academy product in Liverpool history to be sold for a significant sum of money.

* Sterling is the only attacking player since Steven Gerrard (in 1998) to become a regular for the first-team.

I just don't see the point of having an academy when the club's apparent policy is to continually sign young players from abroad instead of promoting academy players.

Liverpool could've saved £50m+ on the likes of Markovic, Ilori, Alberto, Origi, Gomez, Manquillo etc and simply promoted youngsters from the youth ranks.

If not, why not?

Author: Jaimie K


  1. I would look to send him on loan with LFC having a say if the loan becomes permanent. If he really wants out, we need to respect that it might be the best move to make at this point in this career, but he has too much potential to just dump and forget about. Another option would be to sell with a buy back clause, that way if he impresses enough in the lower leagues and our own strike force dwindles, we have that backup transfer ready.

  2. If he leaves, why would Sinclair want to come back, though? It could turn into a Paul Pogba situation; he resents Man United for failing to give him a chance, and now that he's one of the world's top midfielders, the chances of him going back to Old Trafford are extremely slim.

  3. Too good to lose.

  4. Or it could turn into a Matic situation, coming back and completing the Chelsea squad. Even if the final decision is to sell, it would be nice to at least have the option to bring him back if he is open to it and he comes good.

  5. More to the point. Why have we let another player run down to his last year of his contract? Even Borini is on his last year. If they don't want to sign or are not good enough, sell when they have two years left. This should be the clubs number 1 policy.

  6. I saw an article about Sterling's team mates (i think) from the England U16 squad. Virtually all have disappeared without trace. This shows how difficult it is even for the best of the best youngsters to actually make it through to the senior ranks regardless of which club they play for.

  7. If not a buy back option then a (10%-20%) sell on clause should be included in any permanent transfer. We can make a significant amount of money down the line if we included a sell on clause to all of our outgoing transfers.

  8. What on earth is going on with these young players? Sinclair must have been left out of the tour for a reason and his reaction suggests he has a lot of maturing to do before he's ready for the first team. I can't even begin to imagine what Shankly and Paisley would make of it all...

  9. Nicolas Chamberlain10:11 pm, July 13, 2015

    ''Take Origi, for example: Did Liverpool really need to buy him? The Belgian is only a year older, so instead of spending £10m, why not just put Sinclair in the first-team squad?''

    Origi showed himself on the highest stage; a World Championship.
    So to rate him on the same level as Sinclair is pretty strange.
    We are LFC and the club would be mad if they would put all their hopes on unproven youngsters. If we would follow that line we would become the ultimate feeder club for our current rivals.
    We had plenty of good strikers that played great in our U21 squad and that didn't had their break trough and that disappeared in the anonymity of lower league football. I think it would be stupid to let this very talented youngster go but we don't know what's behind the current dispute.

  10. I think he still has a year to go on his contract, at the very least we should ask for 20% of his sell on fee if his new club sells him in the future.

  11. give him first team action then

  12. I completely agree and have been saying this for months after it was apparent that we weren't going to have a huge budget except for sales (which Sterling has now brought).

    We should focus to make it more of a priority to get the academy players involved in the first team.

    That's not to say they should be starting every game, but there needs to be a better plan in place to show these kids that there is a potential light at the end of the tunnel for them at Liverpool.

    Take Jordan Rossiter for example... where does he fit in this year other than in the odd League Cup or FA Cup game?

    Good experience, sure... but does 1 game really do THAT much for him, or for any other player for that matter.

    I'm curious to see how Rodgers handles Europa this season. He did an incredibly poor job of utilizing the depth purchased last season... He has a more grueling schedule this time around. If he doesn't utilize the depth, we'll be burnt out come November.

  13. Sorry Darovar never saw your earlier comment.

  14. Well the same could have been said then for Danny Ings this year, considering we bought Origi last season.

    Ings is most likely going to cost anywhere from 5-8m. Money which could have been put elsewhere in the team.

  15. Spot on mate. The whole Sterling fiasco could have been prevented if we had hot him to sign an extension after last season and Sterling said himself that if we had offered then he would have signed after the 2013/14 season. Ditto with Skrtel, even though he will sign a new contract soon we never should have let him get to his last year. The same happened with Gerrad and others over the years.

    We need a change in policy where if a player doesn't sign an extension with 2 years left on his deal then he should be sold. A player with more than 2 years on his contract loses a significant amount of bargaining power against the club because they could, theoretically, just freeze him out of the first team. Alas it seems that we are going to continue making the same mistakes over and over and we will not learn from our mistakes.

  16. I'd like to see the young players getting a run in the Europa League. What do we have to lose - no-one is interested in it til March at the earliest...

  17. Honestly it's beyond a joke... That Ian Ayre is about as useful as a chocolate fire guard 😡

  18. Nicolas Chamberlain10:29 pm, July 13, 2015

    In today's market a 5-8M fee is worth the gamble.
    You can't buy much for that amount these days.

  19. Nicolas Chamberlain10:34 pm, July 13, 2015

    If we would use that stage to test our youngsters we will never make it till March. The EL is nice trophy to win with CL qualification as a great bonus. We need results and trophies and our first team squad can't be used for experiments. If they are good enough they will get there.

  20. 100% agree, and this proves more than anything that BR does not promote youth development - another example of his hot air.

    I'd go one step further and ask the question how many players has BR either signed or promoted from within and then improved them with his coaching ability?

  21. If indeed there is a dispute. This is a journalistic way of finding angles and making trends, exploiting people's trust in coherent narratives and instincts for pattern recognition. So after the big Sterling story, you get a cluster of smaller stories with similar angles that appear to denote a trend. Often when the detail emerges they are no such thing. But by then the story has all blown over, something else has come along -- but the content has been produced, the pages have been filled, the links have been clicked and the ad-space sold.

    This isn't a dig at JK in particular by the way -- was thinking more of places like the Echo, where this story originated.

    I totally agree with you Nicolas about Origi -- also feel that if Origi is taking Sinclair's place in the squad then that's a good thing, it improves our group to have an established international there instead of an unproved youngster. If Sinclair hasn't got the grapes to stay and fight it out, if he doesn't back himself, then he's better off moving on.

    Although actually he can surely see the sense in moving on loan to League 1 or a good Championship side that play good football, MK Dons maybe, whilst keeping his Liverpool contract, and building from there. It's not like bigger clubs than Liverpool are going to be banging his door down any time soon is it. Daft, the whole thing.

  22. Twice during BR's reign we've had problems with the striker position:

    1. Carroll fiasco
    2. Sturridge injury

    Have tried other options and not succeeded, this was the time for BR to throw in a youngster, much like Owen was thrust into the limelight. But no, much like Thatcher was not for turning, BR never looked beyond plan A.

    So JK is right, signing on at the LFC Academy is likely to end a young players hopes of reaching the big time.

  23. Personally not too sure what all the fuss is about. Decent prospect nothing more nothing less. Not really a natural goalscorer IMO. He has a fairly good record at youth level but nothing out of this world. I feel he will probably carve out a career at a slightly lower level but not at all convinced he was destined for the top. We have a lot of brighter prospects than this lad.

  24. That's true, but it was only England Schoolboys, which is not an elite group for English development. The U17s is where things get a bit more serious, and then only at UEFA level, because the FIFA tournament is held at an incovenient time of year for England players and European players generally -- which is why even Spain and Germany haven't excelled traditionally. Nigeria are the real powerhouses of World U17 football, according to the results...

    Anyway, England's U17 UEFA winning teams of 2010 and 2014 have plenty of players who either have already, in the case of the 2010 vintage, or surely will, go on to big things -- our lad Gomez was in that 2014 team, I now see! Sterling was a bit unlucky at that level, because of his relative age. He had to go to the U17 World Cup and play with some pretty mediocre England lads against the likes of Rwanda... I mean, really...

  25. Here's the catch though.... playing the Thursday-Sunday schedule, our guys are going to be burnt out if we aren't using our depth.

    So while Europa is nothing to sneeze at, I think we have to use our first teamers relatively sparingly in that competition. It's not to say that we play only youngsters but we need a rotation.

  26. 5-8m alone is not a lot by itself.

    My point is that you take the 5m and add it to a 25m to get you to 30m.

  27. He is throwing in a youngster... but Ings and Origi aren't academy players.

    Ibe is the only academy-bred player who is likely to get consistent time this year, and even that may be a bit tougher to come by depending on where he ends up playing. So many midfielders in this team.

    What I'd love to know is how we keep signing these 16 year olds from Spain. Why would they come here when history has shown they don't get near the first team.

    Then again, I'd venture to guess that most of the top 6 teams in the Prem are not swimming with academy players in their first team selections.

  28. Rubbish article.

    You can't compare Sinclair to markovic or origi. Players who have played at world cups/I'm Europe.

    Owen sold for 8plus Nunez 11 years ago is not significant?

    Fowler sold for 11 14 years is not significant?

    Give me a break.

  29. Sorry, but this isn't the Eredivisie, where every team's average age is ridiculously low, it's the Prem. Much more physical, and not the place to be for an 18 year old. At that age Sterling barely even touched the waters, coming on as the odd sub or in Europa league/FA cup.

    Origi is of the age of 20 by the way, and might not even see the pitch much himself. I mean we still have 5 striker options, 6 if you include Yesil, we might end up with less as the TW takes it's time. I say he should shut his mouth another year and wait it out.

  30. The Point is this ...if Rodgers doesn't buy the player what is the use of having the player? This lad is 200 times better than origi and you think something is right in that board room ...Gosh!!

  31. He did alright with Firmino and co...

  32. I agree that pointless signings get in the way of academy players. Players like Markovic, Origi, Ings etc who are seemingly squad players can be ignored in favour for the likes of Ibe, and then the club could focus almost exclusively on much bigger deals.

    But to suggest that the academy should be scrapped is a very short sighted view. The club would fail its domestic and continental player quota. Players also have to start somewhere. I'd love to see stats of the number of academy produced players in the registered squads of PL clubs as I can't imagine there would be many. The top teams have very few if any, and even less reputable sides like West Brom, Palace et al have very few academy players.

    There's no winning scenario as JK will criticise both sides. If Rodgers gives opportunities to many players (which in fact, he has done) then it's because of his failure in the transfer market. I somewhat agree. However if the club/Rodgers doesn't give many youngsters opportunities in a short period of time, then it's some sort of systemic failure.

  33. Sell Allen and blend Rossiter into the team as a spot on the bench. Have Lucas teach him and make his experience come into play and when he is ready he can play. As said before, I have a problem with Milner being a guaranteed starter but that is another issue. Sadly, I think Rossiter will first be loaned out for "experience" and then be sold and no reason will be given.

  34. I think the juries well and truly out on whether we have a really good defence or not. Clyne is definitely an upgrade on Johnson but so would Logan's new bird be ;)
    Skrtel on his day is quality but he's more than a little erratic, Sakho can't stay fit and Moreno's still a little raw

  35. one question why is Liverpool managers mostly sign heaps of wrong players?

  36. I am sick of these mercaneries at our him the exit door

  37. Tom Ince.. yes and look how his career has turned out.

  38. There is a reason why so few academy players make the progression into the first not just at Liverpool but at Man Utd, Arsenal, City, Chelsea and even Spurs and that is because the bar is so high

  39. Something wrong with the way FSG handle the contract negotiations. Needs to be fixed quickly.

  40. Every penny 'll be wasted. When we could have gone for Mario, we wasted millions on Carroll & Cole; now he is 30, injury prone, out of German back up squad, plays for mid table Seria A team from bench & scores once in a month - a perfect choice for BR, as if 16mn on Ballotelli wasn't enough.

  41. If you are able to assemble a first 11 that can win games comfortably and get in a dominant position you can then bring on young players towards the end of a game and aid their path into the first team.

    Unfortunately, in a competitive league like the EPL that is extremely difficult and throwing youngsters in before they are ready and when matches can still be won or lost is very risky both for the team and the individuals.

  42. I would prefer playing Ings or even the unknown Origi to Gomez why would you swap a guy with his better years ahead for 1 thats finished i call bad rumour.

  43. Agreed they could have saved 50 mill on those players poor thinking indeed but i would like Origi to get a chance to prove himself before criticizing him.

  44. Yes i agree and i actually dont see Liverpool ever getting another Gerrard or such calibre of player without him being bought through the academy.
    We cannot attract the big names any more and bringing in top quality juniors is a priority i am particularly rapt with the signing of Adekayne this window.

  45. Sid i see Milners value as much off the pitch as on it Gerrard and Suarez are gone and Milner is renown for his hard work.
    I see this as great thing for players up and coming who need a role model.

  46. sinclair is better than Ings and Origi is league two class.
    the real problem area for LFC is the striking dept and the left-back position. Moreno is bull-shit, we'll concede 50 goals a season due to such a jerk. congratulations to BR for not realising it.
    sold Suarez, bought Borini-Lambert-Origi-Ings, the level of players which he is capable of managing.

  47. Wow.. erm.. where to start.. actually forget it

  48. Have you actually ever seen Sinclair play? He's a decent prospect no more no less. He's not a natural scorer and relies heavily on his pace. You have just said that an 18 year old who has scored a few goals for the youth teams is better than 2 international strikers. Are you for real?

  49. We overused Owen directly leading to his injuries and failure to recover from said injuries.

  50. I agree. And Ings hasn't even played in a World Cup, never mind played well in a World Cup, like Origi did.

  51. Slumdog Mignolet10:01 am, July 14, 2015

    "I just don't see the point of having an academy when the club's apparent policy is to continually sign young players from abroad instead of promoting academy players. "

    Jordan Ibe
    John Flano
    Martin Kelly - before injury.
    Wisdom - back for Manquilo

    Point invalid. Gosh you LOVE to complain!

  52. Oh yea it's really worked wonders for Tom Ince's career

  53. Maybe 3-4 years ago, not now.

  54. Now tell me which of these 4 players are 1st team players? They are all squad players.

    Only Ibe seems to have some sort of potential to have a long term impact.

  55. Slumdog Mignolet11:02 am, July 14, 2015

    1. Flano WAS actually our 1st team RB until his injury No 1.

    2. Kelly HAD better stats this season at LB than Moreno. Was a poor decision to sell him especially considering his stats were better than ANY of our current full backs from last season.

    3. Wisdom I do agree is a squad back up full back.

    4. Ibe has the potential to break through and be a first team player agreed.

    So 3/4 FROM our academy could have been our future first team stars. 2 we still have, and we made an error selling the 1.

  56. I wanted to comment using a certain word, but I've forgotten the word, so here's the comment anyway.

  57. The whole srapping of the reserve league is th biggest reason that youngsteres struggle to make the step up, The FA in the infinite wisdom right royally screwed the youth of this country when they scrapped it.... Of all the best ways to help improve the national squad, the reserve league was one of the best.... The reserve team after all, is not just about youth players, it's about first team squad players who need game time, injury recoveries, and youth players being able to step out of their comfort zone and play football with and againnst more senior players in an actual competitive environment without the real need to farm them out on loan.... If anyone knows of any real reason that scrapping it was a good idea, then I'm all ears... I have always thought it was the best solution for clubs, and for the national setup.... But this is the FA.

  58. "Besiktas have reached an agreement in principle with Liverpool target Mario Gomez according to LigTV." -good news imo. would rather keep balo, and wait for a new manager to come in, who knows what to do with him. balo may not have put the right effort in at times, but it seemed clear to me that he wasn't given proper direction. he didn't just suddenly become a bad striker over night. his record speaks for its self...

  59. suarez was one of the best players of the world cup before he came to Liverpool. Every club knew what he could do, not many fancied taking a chance on him. Van persie was the great hope of an entire generation of Dutch footballers, again attitude problems is what put the real big boy off signing him. Aguero was talked of in the same manner as Lacazette is now before he moved to Atletico. Agree with the sentiment but you couldn't have picked 3 worse examples

  60. How can anyone assume hes good enough by the same argument?

  61. The thing is L Leiva is best defensive midfielder club have had for five years now but the fact he lacks energy, mobility and pace he is not in the same calibre as Fernandinho, Matic or Schneiderlin.

    The last two seasons we have spent Millions Millions on defenders yet still concede goals for fun , because the most vital position Rodgers has not sorted out is the need to bring in MOBILE Tough Tackling Enforcer to sit in front of the back four.

    As the defence is not the only problem, in Allen, Can, Henderson and Milner who Rodgers will prefer to use instead of L Leiva again even though L Leiva is the best defensive midfield player we have had at club for over five years who protects back four better than any player at club.

    The likes of Allen, Can, Henderson and Milner do not offer the defence our goalkeeper much protection and a Mobile Tough tackling enforcer should definitely be brought to club this summer.

    So Lars Bender Of Bayer Leverkusen, William Carvalho Of Sporting Lisbon Or Lars's Brother Sven Of Borussia Dortmund should be brought to the club this summer for : £17-£25M this summer

    Allen, Can, Henderson and Milner are all average centre midfielders who can all do a descent job in centre midfield but none if them are world class.

    So where all our closest rivals have a top class or world class CM or two we don't have one: Allen, Can, Henderson and Milner are all average at best.

    Coutinho , Firminho and Lallana are top class attacking midfielders but none of them play deep from the centre.

    Arsenal have Arteta and Cazorla

    Chelsea Fabregas and Ramires

    Man City Yaya Toure and Nasri

    We need it bring in a world class CM to club this summer so:

    T Alacantara Of Bayern Munich

    R Nainggollan Of Roma

    Koke Of A Madrid

    M Kovacic Of Inter Milan

    One of those world class midfielders should be brought to club this summer for £21-£34M

    We did not lose to Basle away,Crystal Palace home and away, Chelsea home and away, Hull Away, Newcastle Away or draw