Raheem Sterling has thanked Brendan Rodgers in his first interview since completing a £49 million move toManchester City.
The 20-year-old has committed to a five-year contract with City that makes him the club’s record signing, while the deal has also set a British transfer record for an English player.
Rodgers was forced to deny reports that he had fallen out with Sterling in the closing stages of the winger’s switch to City, and the England international admits the Liverpool manager played a key part in his rise.
“I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field,” Sterling told City’s official website.
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.
“The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.
“It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way.
“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, giving me my full debut – against City funnily enough – and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents.
“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. I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone.”
Sterling also revealed that he spoke with England team-mate Joe Hart about City prior to his move.
“I spoke to Joe briefly on the last England trip,” said the winger.
“He just told me what a really good football club this is and how nice the fans are – nothing too serious, but it was a bit of a heads up.”