MX23RW : Monday, September 20 23:35:18| >> :60:176:176:

Michael Owen: 'Liverpool can replace Raheem Sterling'

Ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes that the club can replace Raheem Sterling should the England international leave Anfield.

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen expects Raheem Sterling to leave Anfield this summer, but has insisted that the England winger's departure won't severely hamper his old club.

Sterling has been the subject of intense speculation since he gave an unsanctioned interview to BBC Sport back in April claiming that he was flattered by Arsenal's reported interest in him.

The 20-year-old's agent stated last month that his client would be leaving the five-time European Cup winners, but Owen believes that Sterling can be replaced in the transfer market.

Owen told BT Sport: "Sterling is a very good player but put it this way - a year ago Liverpool lost Luis Suarez. He is irreplaceable. If Liverpool lose Sterling they can replace him.

"If I was a Liverpool fan I wouldn't be losing sleep if Sterling did leave and they got a fair old chunk of money. You can replace Sterling. You can't replace Suarez.

"I expect him to not be a Liverpool player. If he was pushing the boundaries for a better contract, it has gone too far now. Public opinion has counted against him. We have got someone with two years left on his contract and it has been dragged out for so long. It has not been handled great."

Sterling was left out of the Reds side that were hammered 6-1 by Stoke City on the final day of last season's Premier League campaign.

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