Brendan Rodgers credits Rafael Benitez for Liverpool academy

Rodgers credits Benitez for academy
© PA Photos
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers credits Rafael Benitez for the club's academy growth in recent years.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has credited Rafael Benitez for the club's flourishing youth academy.

Rodgers has given full debuts to several graduates from the Kirkby-based complex in his maiden season with the club including Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso.

The former Swansea City manager also made Jerome Sinclair the youngest player to ever play for the club in a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup back in September.

Rodgers has said that a lot of the academy's success is down to former manager Benitez, who implemented sweeping changes during his time with the Reds.

"Benitez deserves great credit for the changes he made at the academy," Rodgers is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

"There is a greater strength in depth at the academy than there has ever been before and that is down to some of the changes Rafa implemented.

"They helped Brendan at the start of this season when he was able to draw on the talents of Raheem Sterling and others."

Benitez returns to Anfield for the first time since leaving in 2010 when Chelsea play the Reds this afternoon.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on the touchline during his sides match with Manchester City on February 3, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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