Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has opened up on why Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling departed Anfield.
Sterling, who departed Liverpool for Manchester City for a transfer fee of £49 million back in the summer of 2015, has certainly lived up to his potential.
You won’t find anyone who is associated with Liverpool downplaying Sterling’s talent, but you will find many supporters questioning the attitude of the Englishman.
Sterling’s departure from Liverpool in 2015 did not go down well with the Anfield faithful. He ultimately forced his way out.
There were many supporters who believed Sterling left for the money that the Citizens offered him, but Rodgers believes that the Englishman left for other reasons.
Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo, as quoted by the Express: “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’s team and it’s not the same if he’s not in it. What a testament that is to a young English player.
“What I loved about Raheem was that, for a young boy, he knew what he wanted to be.
“When I ask young players what is it that they want to achieve, he wanted to be one of the best players in the world, at that age.
“That was where he was unique, because sometimes the British players may not have that ambition. But that was all he wanted to be.
“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 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.
“You don’t play the amount of games with the consistency he has played to – and the availability – by not being super professional, focused on your job.”
At the time, Manchester City were winning trophies, which no doubt played a part in Sterling departing. However, there is a sense that the money also played a part in the transfer occurring.
It is a shame that Sterling departed. Before the transfer occurred, he was adored by many on the Kop. His talent was there to be seen, but it is clear that he did not love Liverpool.