A number of English stars have achieved star status in the Premier League. From Harry Kane to Raheem Sterling, and even to a lesser extent, Danny Ings. These players have broken through their respective first teams to become mainstays. The trio are undoubtedly talented individuals. This has prompted many to christen Sterling as “England’s Savior” and caused others to feel as if Harry Kane will be England’s new Wayne Rooney. These Englishmen definitely possess potential. This was made increasingly evident through their breakthrough seasons. However, are we overhyping Sterling and co.? Aalim Khaderi investigates…
To answer this question, we should examine the player’s input this season. Lets begin with Harry Kane. He by far, has had the most lucrative season. He has bagged twenty goals this season putting him second on the top scorers list. He came to prominence in Tottenham’s first fixture against Chelsea. Tottenham won 5-3 with Kane scoring twice and making an assist. This is not only an incredible feat to accomplish in the Premier League, but is made even more remarkable that he scored against the Champions.
Raheem Sterling has had a more silent season this time around. With Liverpool losing their two leading goalscorers from injury and transfer dealings respectively, the Kop was looking for Sterling to provide the goals. Unfortunately, these hopes have not been reciprocated. Sterling has missed numerous chances during matches to apply turn the tide of a game often indirectly resulting in Liverpool defeat. However, his technical ability has still been on display, despite his struggles in front of goal. He remains menacing on the ball and exploits tight angles in behind defences.
What is ironic about this situation, is that Sterling expects a large, rich contract renewal. His struggles this season have proved that he is not a player Liverpool can rely upon yet. The big players get paid the most on their clubs. Think Lionel Messi on Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo on Madrid, Sanchez on Arsenal, and Rooney on United. For all of Sterling’s potential and talent, he is nowhere near the level of the players listed above. The media and figures in the game have boosted him up to be something he is not. Brendan Rodgers fueled Sterling’s ego by claiming that he is the best young player in Europe. If this is truly the case, why have Isco and Rodriguez of Real Madrid consistently out performed him. According to Squawka’s ‘Comparison Matrix’, both Isco and Rodriguez post an overall better total score. Not only are we, the fans overhyping talent, the coaches and managers are as well.
This has prompted Sterling to request big money for little results. There are other relatively young players on Liverpool such as Coutinho who have outperformed Sterling and do not ask for multimillion dollar contracts. Sterling may have the potential to be a world class player but he is not one yet. There are other younger players outperforming him who do not get the same recognition.
A similar predicament will likely arise with Kane – one season with over twenty goals does not make a player a world superstar. Kane among others it a risk of being treated to lavishly before proving anything. This makes players complacent and stunts their development. There are a plethora of talented youngsters that fell off because of overhyping. We cannot allow young footballers to gain control over an entire club. This problem stems from overhyping a player to the point that they are bigger than the club.
Youngsters in football have yet to prove that they can consistently produce results. So why are we treating them like legends?