Raheem Sterling’s reputation has taken something of a nosedive recently.
A word of advice to his representatives: setting up an interview in which your client publicly confirms that he has turned down a £100,000 per week contract does not particularly endear him to the common man. No wonder people think footballers are mercenaries.
Liverpool fans would equally be unimpressed upon seeing leaked images of Sterling smoking from a shisha pipe, but the England winger’s latest escapade is likely to grate further still.
Sterling has been filmed inhaling what is alleged to be laughing gas just days before a Liverpool match, reports The Sun.
The leaked video shows the 20 year-old taking at least two gulps of the substance from a balloon, before showing off a manic grin, then worryingly appearing to pass out.
This is obviously a sequence of events not often associated with the inhalation of air.
The incident raises big question marks about the player’s professionalism given the danger of nitrous oxide – also known as ‘hippy crack’. Even if legal, the Sun reports that the substance has resulted in the death of 17 people since 2006, so it should certainly not be dismissed as trivial.
There will now be inevitable further scrutiny over Sterling’s Anfield future too, and Brendan Rodgers will no doubt want to speak to his player.