Michael Owen disagrees with Brendan Rodgers on youngsters' wages

Michael Owen

Rodgers seems cautious to give Raheem Sterling another pay rise and recently warned against rewarding younger players too soon, but Owen has a different view.

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has said he doesn't necessarily agree with Brendan Rodgers when it comes to offering lucrative contracts to younger players.

There has been plenty of speculation in the past week that Liverpool will offer 19-year-old star Raheem Sterling a lucrative new contract in order to tie him to the club for the long term and keep any potential suitors at bay.

Rodgers said: "We have to be careful because when you reward young players too quickly, that will be their downfall."

However, Owen suggested that money doesn't really come into things, and that the hungrier players are just focussed on being the best.

He told TalkSport: “When I was a player I wanted to be the best player in the world. I was very, very wealthy, playing in Liverpool’s first-team at 17, an England international at 18, and I was very wealthy. But my drive was to be the best player in the world. That’s what you want - to play in front of people, to score goals, to have the fame.

“I think money is a very distant fourth, fifth, sixth, wherever you want to put it in the list.

“Someone like [Raheem] Sterling is going to be a very wealthy man. Whether you make him that at 18, or delay it until he’s 19 or 20, he’s going to be wealthy. You could say he’ll lose that ambition by 20 in that case, but I just don’t see that."

It seems the point Owen is making is that football is a lucrative business and is bound to become very wealthy as a result.

Rodgers seems to want to keep the wages of his younger players pretty low, probably in order to reflect their age, or reflect where they're at in terms of their development - and as they continue to develop they will eventually receive higher wages.

SEE ALSO: Who does Alberto Moreno replace in Liverpool's starting line-up?

It's a case of both keeping on top of their wages and trying to keep younger players grounded as much as possible. Owen raises an interesting point given that the two players who are regarded as the best in the world in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are amongst the most well paid and still perform every week.

But at a younger age, a bumper salary can also lead to added pressure for the player for Sterling, and Rodgers is the kind of manager that wants to give his younger players the chance in an environment with as little fear as possible.

Do Rodgers and Owen both have points? Or is one right and the other is wrong?

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