"Manchester City are 20 years behind Liverpool" - Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool boss says Merseysiders and Manchester United are way ahead of the rest
Brendan Rodgers has claimed that it will take Manchester City “20 years” to be as big a club as Liverpool. The Anfield manager also flatly rejected any suggestion that Raheem Sterling would be joining a “bigger club” if he moved this summer to City, who are considering a bid for the England international.
“I wouldn’t say that this was a development ground for going to bigger clubs,” Rodgers said of Liverpool. “If you say that Manchester City is a bigger club than Liverpool, you’re wrong.
“At this moment in time Manchester City are on a great project. They’re a wonderful club, I’ve seen it for myself a few years ago when I spoke with them [about being assistant manager]. I’ve got big respect for what they’re doing there. They’re trying to build it the right way and hopefully they’ll get young players through… but at this moment in time you can’t compare as a club the size of the two.
“You’ve got Liverpool and Manchester United, the two biggest clubs in this country, and the rest of them are fighting to be there over the next 20 years.”
Rodgers maintained that with Sterling, 20, stalling on signing a new contract Liverpool remained the best club for the England international. “Raheem was playing in the team at 17 at Liverpool Football Club,” he said. “He’s got to a hundred appearances quicker than Lionel Messi or Ronaldo. It’s all about the football development of the young player. He’s developing really, really well here.
“I said last year about him being one of the best young players in Europe, if not the best, just out of how well he was doing. But actually if you analyse that there are not many young players playing. He’s just turned 20 and the next one to come here will be Jordon Ibe.”
Liverpool face Aston Villa on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley with Rodgers stressing that there will be no sentiment around recalling Steven Gerrard.
“Everyone respects that I always want to do what is best for the team, the collective, and always will. Status and star quality has never bothered me really,” the manager said.