Sterlo questions why Eels want Hayne back
PARRAMATTA great Peter Sterling believes Brad Arthur would be better served buying a quality front-rower instead of gambling $500,000 on an ageing Jarryd Hayne.
Following his dramatic exit from the Gold Coast, Hayne, who turns 30 in February, is expected to sign a one-deal to return to the Eels in 2018.
Sterling has always been a supporter of Arthur and he said he hopes Hayne proves him wrong.
But even if the Eels get the two-time Dally M Medal winner on a hugely reduced rate to the whopping $1.2m-a-season Hayne was being paid at the Titans, Sterling still questions if Hayne is the right fit.
"I don't really think that Jarryd is a priority for Parramatta to be honest," Sterling told The Daily Telegraph.
"I think when you recruit you recruit in areas that you need and to me we saw in Origin that he is not a centre three-quarter.
"I think he is wasted on the wing so he has to play fullback in my mind.
"To me, Bevan French and Clint Gutherson have great propositions there for a longer period of time."
Sterling believes the money would be better spent bolstering the forwards.
"($500,000) would still buy you a quality front-rower (which is) an area that needs to be addressed," Sterling added.
"That is my personal opinion.
"I hope I am completely wrong.
"I'd love to think he'd come back and prove to be a real difference for the club.
"His heart always tended to be at Parramatta.
"But looking as an outsider I am not quite sure he would be a priority signing for me in relation to what the roster needs going into a 2018 season."
Sterling also has doubts Hayne can ever reproduce the form that carried Parramatta to the 2009 grand final when Hayne was 21.
"You know I have a huge rap on Brad Arthur and you look at what he has done for a guy like Nathan Brown (who was recruited from South Sydney)," Sterling said.
"I think Brad is an excellent coach and I think he can bring the best out of every player.
"But it has been a long time since we have seen the best of Jarryd Hayne and to what that best may still be is yet to be determined.
"2009 was a long time ago.
"But he is a quality athlete.
"I saw him up close and personal at Origin level and he worked hard there and he did everything that was expected of him.
"But a week-to-week basis in the grind of the NRL at his age and not having played consistently well really for a long time, it is no certainty that is for sure.
"But in answer to your question, I think Brad Arthur could extract what the best is from Jarryd.
"It just remains to be seen what (the best) is."