Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise upon Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, insisting that the England international didn’t leave Liverpool for money.
The two worked together on Merseyside as Liverpool went agonisingly close to winning the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season.
Sterling’s move from Reds to Citizens: Five things you need to know…
- Signed from Queens Park Rangers, Sterling made 129 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 23 goals.
- In February 2015, Sterling was reportedly offered a bumper £100,000 a week deal by Rodgers.
- However, the England international delayed discussions until the summer, telling the BBC he had turned down the deal, which angered Rodgers.
- Sterling’s agent confirmed the player wanted to leave the club and would turn down offers north of £700,000 a week.
- After rejecting multiple offers, Liverpool finally allowed Sterling to leave for £49 million, joining Manchester City in the summer of 2015.
The tricky forward has received widespread praise among the football community this season with Foxes boss Rodgers among those lending their voice.
Speaking to reporters prior to his side’s clash with Manchester City this weekend, Rodgers insisted Sterling’s transfer from Liverpool to City was inspired by ambition over any financial gain.
Rodgers said: “For Raheem, it was never about money. If it was about money he could have stayed at Liverpool. It was about being the best he can be.
“In that moment in time there was an opportunity to go to Manchester City where they had top-class players. He’s gone in there and developed and become a winner, which is clear to see now in his game.
“I look at Pep [Guardiola’s] team and it’s not the same if he’s not in it. What a testament that is to a young English player.”
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It seems Sterling’s decision to join Manchester City nearly four years ago has been truly vindicated.
His development in Manchester has seen him become a vital cog for both City and England, while his trophy cabinet has become almost in need of an extension.
In the last two seasons, Sterling has scored 35 Premier League goals, more than the six years spent in the division beforehand. Rodgers believes it is Sterling’s attitude that has seen him transform into a truly world-class attacker.
“What I loved about Raheem was that, for a young boy, he knew what he wanted to be,” Rodgers continued. “When I ask young players what it is they want to achieve, he wanted to be one of the best players in the world, at that age.
“He’s taken his game now to a level where he clearly is one of the best players in the world.
“He was someone who was always going to do the work, he wasn’t just expecting it because of his incredible talent.
“This was a boy who looked after his body and his life to ensure that he could give himself every chance to do that.”