‘Sterling is replaceable’

Premiership

The 20-year-old has two years remaining on his contract at Anfield, but his relationship with the club and fans has soured after he turned down a new deal, with a subsequent meeting regarding contract negotiations being cancelled by the club.

However, ex-Reds forward Owen feels the club will be able to replace the England international, unlike Luis Suarez, who left a massive void on Merseyside following his departure to Barcelona last year.

"I think he [Sterling] is a very good player but, put it this way, a year ago they lost [Luis] Suarez, he is irreplaceable, you cannot replace someone that good," said Owen.

"If Liverpool lose Sterling they can replace him. Certainly with the money that they would get I think you can replace Sterling.

"I think he's a very good player, got loads of potential, but you can replace him and you can't replace Suarez.

"If I was a Liverpool fan I would obviously want an answer, but I wouldn't be losing sleep if he did leave and you got a fair old chunk of money for him because I think he is replaceable."

After being booed at the Liverpool awards dinner last month, as well as during England’s 0-0 draw with Ireland on the weekend, Owen expects Sterling to leave his current club soon.

"I expect him not to be a Liverpool player because if he was, and was pushing the boundaries for a better contract, you would probably think it's gone a bit too far now," Owen said.

"Public opinion has counted against him, so you would have thought he would be leaving. That would be my inclination.

"If he signed tomorrow I'm sure it would all be fine, but I do think now that it's gone a bit too far,” he added.

"If he was in two minds then probably the reaction of the fans at the moment, and probably with a sour taste in his mouth about everything that has happened, then he would probably look into starting afresh again."

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