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Raheem Sterling should get as much money as possible

The youngster owes absolutely nothing to Liverpool.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

You'll never walk alone. An utterly empty and boring sentiment. Players always walk alone when they gain the courage to ask to be paid what they're worth. Case in point:

Raheem Sterling's biggest mistake in this saga is doing the interview where he tried to change the public perception. Rather than trying to convince fans that he wasn't a "money-grabber", he should have just said "fuck you, pay me" and left it at that.

He doesn't have to reason and plead for his right to be paid what he's worth. He deserves it. The conversation ends there. There was no outrage as Liverpool underpaid him for the last few years, and there shouldn't be any now that he's asking for his market price. It's almost stunning at how frequently fans and people in general will side with giant corporations -- and Liverpool Football Club is a company like any other -- over the actual employees that do the work.

Never mind the view that footballers are paid entirely too much. Their market is wildly different from that of non-celebrities. This whole saga essentially boils down to an employee asking to be paid fairly for their work and the company refusing. The refusal is backed by fans nodding in agreement to seeing a worker being underpaid. On the back of some idealistic idea of loyalty that works as nothing but a PR tool for the company to smear the employee. It's almost ridiculous if not entirely common.

This isn't the first time that Fenway Sports Group has gotten its hands dirty by dragging a star through the mud. They're a company and they play by company rules. Profit comes first, always. And when a star like Raheem Sterling or Manny Ramirez, a former Major League Baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, wants to be paid for their performances, and they disagree, FSG drags them through the mud. And the media is their biggest weapon.

When Ramirez was on the last year of his contract and FSG wasn't willing to renegotiate his contract, and essentially wanted to move him without the backlash of fans, they threw him to the wolves of the public. By the end, Manny was painted as disloyal, a malcontent and a selfish player who didn't respect the game. An enigma that was in it for the money, rather than a hall of famer who helped the team win two World Series titles. It's a hell of a trick to pull off.

And best believe that it's happening with Sterling. Like every village oaf who shouldn't have an opinion, Jamie Carragher is first to the scene. He's already exclaiming that Sterling should repay Liverpool by signing a new contract. It's not an opinion exclusive to him. The general idea seems to be that Sterling should repay the faith shown in him by purposely taking less money than he deserves. To give Liverpool a discount on that same perplexing ideal of loyalty.

Pay Liverpool back for what exactly, though? It wasn't too long ago that Brendan Rodgers was on camera on an episode of "Being: Liverpool," threatening to send Sterling away. And you can look at the responses of his interview, tweets or instagram posts from the fans to get their side as well. It seems that the Sword of Damocles nicknamed loyalty only hangs above the heads of players. Fans are only as loyal to you as the services you can provide to them. If you're not performing, well, they're asking for you to be sold as quickly as possible as they're doing with Mario Balotelli.

Make no mistake, if Sterling stops being good tomorrow, the fans, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool wouldn't blink twice in getting rid of him. It's the life of an athlete in general. Your life depends on how useful you are are in the present moment. It's a cutthroat and short shelf life. It would be beyond stupid to not take as much money as possible whenever the opportunity presents itself in that regard.

Liverpool didn't start playing Sterling because of charity. They played him because he was good. He's not in demand in world football because of anything else but the fact that he's one of the best young players in the world. He's proven that he can play at the highest level and succeed. And if he continues to improve, he will be a great player in the future. He doesn't owe that potential to Liverpool and he should not stay there if he doesn't want to. Especially if they're being reluctant to pay him what other clubs gladly would.

The best place for him isn't Anfield. Regardless of whatever arbitrary reasons people pull out of thin air. He can find playing time anywhere else, and even if he doesn't, he can get paid a lot more and get loaned out for the time being. He can find a great manager anywhere else, the teams interested in him tend to keep competent managers at the helm. If he's more ambitious career-wise, there's plenty of other teams that are better contenders than a Liverpool organization that thought Dejan Lovren was worth £20 million.

The best place for Raheem Sterling is wherever he sees fit. Just as the best place for any player is wherever they see fit. And if they feel and the market dictates that they deserve more money, they are absolutely in their right to take it. Teams will not blink to underpay or dump players when they can, and a player should never hesitate to do the opposite.

Football is a sport and sports are big business. Sterling is just smart enough not to fall for the toxic idealism that sees talented players trapped in insulting contracts while the teams swim in boat-loads of cash. Get paid Raheem! Buy the new Yeezys and stay blessed.

Too much jokes... @31sterling @jordon_ibe @mb459

A video posted by Official Daniel Sturridge (@danielsturridge) on