When Raheem Sterling was entering the final days of his Liverpool career, newspapers had us believe that his relationship with Brendan Rodgers had completely broken down.
One report claimed that Sterling had even told Liverpool officials that he would only consider staying at Anfield if Rodgers was sacked. As it would turn out, they agreed to his demand but only after his £49m move to Manchester City was complete.
Just over a year on from that transfer saga and we are still no clearer on exactly why Sterling agitated his way out of the club. There is no question that he is now in a better position to win trophies and is probably earning more money that he would be on Merseyside but does that explain the acrimonious nature of his departure?
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Unfortunately, the mystery has only thickened this week with the 21-year-old revealing that he actually thinks very highly of the now former Liverpool manager.
The pair will reunite at Celtic Park on Wednesday night when City take on the Scottish outfit in the second Champions League group game and Sterling saw it as the perfect opportunity to talk up his former mentor.
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A massive influence
According to Goal, he said: “He was massive for me. Every manager that I’ve worked with I’ve tried to learn as much as I can and he’s one that I definitely learnt a lot off. Credit to him he was a fantastic guy.
“Playing me in different positions, making me understand the roles and maturing in certain systems… he gave me a lot of confidence as well.
“He’s someone who gave me my full chance in the Premier League and gave me loads of starts and loads of confidence. It will be good to see him again and wish him well but on the day it all comes down to trying to win that football match.”
Now Sterling is lucky enough to be working under one of the world's most revered football managers in Pep Guardiola. Having had a difficult first season under Manuel Pellegrini and an awful Euro 2016 with England, he is now rekindling his very best form.
And the Spaniard appears to have played a big part in that revitalisation with Sterling saying Guardiola has given everyone in the squad a fresh batch of belief.
“He said just enjoy scoring goals, enjoy putting it in the back of the net and see it going in the net," Sterling added.
“He just gives everyone confidence, not just me. He gives everyone a belief and a motivation. His speech before [the game] was fantastic so you go out onto the pitch and you’re really fired up.”
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