EMILE HESKEY has warned Raheem Sterling not to throw his chance to become a Liverpool star.
The England midfielder is expected to tell boss Brendan Rodgers that he wants out of Anfield when they meet for talks this week.
And former Kop striker Heskey has pleaded with the 20-year-old to consider the long-term when thrashing out his Liverpool future.
"He has grown with Liverpool and established himself, but if he does want to leave then he is denying himself the opportunity to grow and to develop to become a top, top player for Liverpool," he wrote on Kicca.
"He should also be mindful of what has happened to other bright talents in the past, like Shaun Wright-Phillips.
"Shaun was England’s hottest prospect after coming through and doing so well at Manchester City, but then he moved to Chelsea where he was not playing anywhere near as regularly.
"That possibly slowed his development as a player, and in the end Shaun stagnated and he went from the hottest prospect to someone who struggled to get a game.
"Raheem is a good player and has shown plenty of potential, but maybe the contract talk got to him in the second half of the season because his form did dip."
Heskey added: "If I were in charge at Liverpool, I would still be doing all I could to keep him. Yes, they could probably command a lot of money for Raheem, but then what do they do?
"They would need to go out and pay big money to bring someone else in. Big clubs only let big players leave when they have someone lined up, and I don’t think Liverpool have as yet.
"That is why Liverpool should try as hard as they can to persuade Raheem he still belongs."