Raheem Sterling says that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has had a “massive” impact on his development as a player over the last two seasons.
Although it was Kenny Dalglish who handed the 19-year-old his debut in 2012, the current Reds chief is widely seen as the man to have given the Jamaican-born England international his first-team baptism.
Upon talking over at Anfield, the Northern Irishman thrust Sterling into his first XI, to which the teenager responded well.
Although he dipped out of the senior set-up for a while last year, Sterling was a major player for the Merseysiders at the back end of the season just gone, with his performances as the club narrowly missed out on the title, arguably, better than those of Luis Suarez.
The youngster and Rodgers have not always had a fruitful relationship – the manager dressed down the winger in a recorded training session as a part of a documentary following the team in his first pre-season tour – but the talented starlet says that he is happy with the impact his boss has had on his game:
“Brendan has been massive for me,” he is quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“He has really made my football intelligence much better. He helps me read the game and has made me grow up real fast in footballing terms.
“He is the one who has taught me when and where to do certain things.
“I owe him a lot. He has taught me a massive amount on the tactical side and made me develop on this aspect.
“It’s been a big couple of years for me.”