The Liverpool legend believes focus on youngsters' development could be derailed by the large salaries given to players who are yet to mature emotionally and physicallyEXCLUSIVE
By Ignat Manjoo and Lunga Ntuli
Liverpool legend John Barnes has questioned the motivation for younger players, adding that money could be detrimental to a footballer's success.
The former England international compared his generation to those in England today, with Reds youngster Raheem Sterling reportedly finding it testing to solve his off-field problems while breaking into the first-team squad at Anfield.
"What we need is young players that are going to be hungry for success. By success I mean the intrinsic motivation, what happens when a player has played in Europe? That desire to strive for more after winning a championship," Barnes told Goal.
"The greatest players understand that mental training is important. That is what separates the ordinary from the best. We have become so comfortable in rewarding mediocrity.
"Our young generation is too comfortable; as a result they have closed that gap to grow. Money should not be the motivation, because what happens then when you have the money? Our young generation needs to focus on doing well and money will follow after that, not the other way around.