Wednesday 26 October 2016

Ibe could soften blow of Sterling loss

Published 20/06/2015 | 02:30

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling

With Liverpool booked for an immediate Premier League return to the scene of their final-day humiliation, it was interesting to get Jonathan Walters' take last week on Stoke's perception of Brendan Rodgers' team.

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Walters, a childhood Evertonian, is of the view that this current Liverpool team can be "got at" by opponents willing to impose a physical charter.

Rodgers' team found themselves a mortifying five goals adrift after just 45 minutes at the Britannia Stadium on May 24, having failed to cope with Stoke's high energy and aggression.

Walters' own presence down the right flank proved a constant source of discomfort for Mamadou Sakho and Alberto Moreno, both players coming off second best in early challenges against the Republic of Ireland international.

Liverpool eventually lost Steven Gerrard's final game in their colours on a 1-6 scoreline and must now return to the scene of that embarrassment on the opening day of next season.

Whether Raheem Sterling (left) will still be with them then, of course, remains a moot point. Yet, Walters' view is that, in Jordan Ibe, Liverpool already have a stronger, better player to slot into any gap left by Sterling's departure.

And a cheque for £50 million would help Rodgers rebuild a team that needs attention to its very spine.

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