Raheem Sterling has extended his thanks to three Liverpool managers for the roles that they played in his career, following his record-breaking move to Manchester City.
As BBC Sport confirmed, the 20-year-old became the most expensive English player of all time following his £49m move to the Etihad Stadium, surpassing the record previously held by Andy Carroll.
In quotes taken by the BBC, he said: “I’d like to thank Rafa Benitez for taking me to Liverpool as a 15 year-old – that was a massive step for me and a new challenge. Also to Kenny Dalglish for showing such faith in me and putting me in at such a young age.
“I want to thank Brendan Rodgers for giving me a chance and an opportunity in the first team, and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents.”
The move ends a lengthy transfer saga that ultimately did not reflect well on anyone. The actions of both Sterling and his agent – Aidy Ward – are certainly going to leave the youngster with a mountain to climb at his new club, where the pressure to succeed is going to be unbelievably high.
Ward became a pantomime villain after claiming – as the BBC tell us – that his client wouldn’t sign a new contract at Liverpool, even if the Reds offered him a deal worth £900,000-per-week. However, Sterling has been quick to thank the man in his first interview as a City player.
He added: “Finally, I’d also like to thank all the people around me – my mum and sisters, my management team and Aidy Ward for helping me focus and get where I am today.”
In a rather predictable fashion, Sterling closed by saying that he had joined City to win trophies… clearly nothing to do with the massive wage packet or anything.
“I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait,” he said. “The more quality players around you, the more quality it brings out in you.”
“The thing that excites me the most is the world-class squad we have and knowing we have a team that is capable of winning things year in, year out.”