Raheem Sterling could be open to a Liverpool return but we’d rather have Philippe Coutinho back at the club.

Sterling spoke on Colossal Sports Management’s Instagram channel, where he held a Q&A. There, he faced the question of whether he’d ever return to Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling left Liverpool for Manchester City five years ago.

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

“Would I ever go back to Liverpool? To be honest with you, I love Liverpool,” he said. “Don’t get it twisted, they are always in my heart, do you know what I mean?

“It’s a team that (has) done a lot for me growing up.”

It’s a surprisingly open answer and one where ‘No’ is conspicuously absent. Sterling actually sounds quite open to the idea of a Liverpool return.

Not that we’d have him back – and that has nothing to do with his ability.

Fact is, it’s a lot easier to entertain the idea of a return now that Liverpool are good, isn’t it? Sterling quite clearly left the club in 2015 because he didn’t see them going anywhere – that or the money.

 

And yet here we are five years later and Liverpool are reigning champions of Europe and dominant in the Premier League. Now he will happily say he loves the club.

It was only last April, before Liverpool’s success, that he said ‘no one wants to see’ the club winning the title. None of it adds up in a nice way, really. He left on disparaging terms and only after success does he declare his love for them.

So honestly, he wouldn’t even be at the top of the list of players we’d want to return. Sterling would certainly be behind Coutinho, for instance.

There is a difference, after all, in the way each left. Coutinho’s £105m departure was bad, don’t get that wrong, but at least it was simple to understand.

Philippe Coutinho left to join Barcelona.

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

He was a Latin player wanting to move to a historically significant Latin club like Barcelona, near his prime, to play with some of the modern greats. You can at least see the appeal.

Sterling forced a move to Liverpool’s rivals, at 20, to a club without that history or collection of modern greats. It came across as a move purely for short-term success and financial gain.

Honestly, Liverpool need neither back at the club. But Sterling, despite apparently loving the club, burned his bridges more than anyone.

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