Sadly for Raheem Sterling, the Liverpool whizzkid looks to have fallen face first into the trap of believing his own hype.
Still only 20, there are myriad footballing reasons to admire the Reds’ marauding forward, but his refusal to sign a contract extension at the club has hung over Sterling’s whole season, visibly diluting his focus on the pitch.
Sterling’s wage demands are thought to be at the heart of his standoff with Liverpool leading to apparent interest from Real Madrid earlier in the campaign and more recently Manchester City.
All negotiations between the club and the player are now off until the summer and club legend Jamie Carragher for one is concerned over a growing rift between Sterling and the fans.
“We all like to maximise what we can earn in any industry but this standoff won’t help his (Sterling’s) relationship with fans or his performances,” said Carragher.
“The fans frustration though also comes from his contract situation, the longer it continues the more frustration there will be and it paints him and his advisors in a bad light.”
Liverpool would stand to make a handsome profit on the boy they plucked from QPR’s youth academy should they sell him this summer as his current deal runs out in 2017.
However, as Carragher alludes to, it is on the pitch where Sterling is suffering most at present.
It’s the number 31’s inability to turn it on for more than a few games at a time which should negate any overwhelming sense of foreboding from Liverpool fans.
For all his pace and trickery, Sterling is still being carted around Brendan Rodgers’ team like a nomad and although the aforementioned speed is always a threat, too often than not his fleeting footwork ends in a tangle.
It begs the question of why Rodgers has decided to abandon Sterling’s deployment as a number 10 this season, when he found so much joy there during 2013/14.
By his own admission his shooting is a work in progress, highlighted by a return of only 23 goals in 120 Liverpool appearances at the sharp end of the pitch.
His crossing has certainly improved judging by his seven top-flight assists, though his general performance levels have wavered significantly over the entire season.
Sterling’s latest six-match scoring abstinence was dwarfed by an 18-game barren spell between September and December, for example.
His raw ability is not in question, but with a tailor-made replacement in the form of Jordan Ibe waiting in the wings, his potential departure may not leave Liverpool as bereft as many are predicting.