Rafael Benitez: 'I helped shape Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling'

Benitez wants credit for Sterling
© PA Photos
Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez says that his previous work with the academy at Anfield has helped push the likes of Raheem Sterling into the first team.

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes that he has played a part in producing the Merseyside club's young stars.

The Spaniard signed Raheem Sterling during his six-year tenure at Anfield and the 17-year-old has since become a first-team regular under current boss Brendan Rodgers.

"I felt that we had a project in my last year in charge," ESPN quotes Benitez as saying. "We tried to control the academy a bit more. We changed the philosophy and style of play. How we were coaching and everything was in one direction.

"Now you can see Sterling, you can see Suso, [Andre] Wisdom [and] all of these players coming through, so I think that is a good thing for the club and for the future."

Sterling is expected to win his first senior England cap against Sweden in an international friendly this evening.

Brendan Rodgers makes notes on the touchline
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