A relieved Raheem Sterling is thankful his protracted Liverpool exit is finally over and is relishing the chance to challenge for silverware at new club Manchester City.
The England winger formally completed his switch to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday as part of a bumper deal that means he is the most expensive English player of all time.
Contract talks at Anfield collapsed earlier this year to spark a transfer saga that included two rejected City bids, rumours that the 20-year-old was prepared to go on strike to force a move and claims from Aidy Ward, Sterling’s agent, of a breakdown in trust between the youngster and Brendan Rodgers, which the Liverpool boss promptly denied.
Following his acrimonious departure from Merseyside, Sterling is keen to prove he is worth the £49million that City have spent on him.
He told the club’s official website: “It’s a good feeling and this is really happy time for me and my family
“I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field.
“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.”
Sterling was quick to pay tribute to the likes of Rodgers for aiding his development, as well as Ward, who has been firmly in the spotlight over the past few months.
“It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way,” said Sterling.
“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.”