Selling Raheem Sterling was the best option for Liverpool this summer, claims club chairman Tom Werner, who says he "looks forward to seeing him come back to Anfield" as a Manchester City player.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce, Werner stressed that cashing in on a player who was no longer dedicated to the Reds' cause was best for business:
The first thing I’d want to say about that is that we’ll only ever sell a player if we believe it’s in the best interests of the club. We have demonstrated that previously. It was clear to us that Raheem didn’t want to stay at Liverpool.
It was our collective decision that when the price we set was met by Manchester City that it was in the best interests of the club to sell. Regardless of how it played out, Raheem made an important contribution to the club during his time at Liverpool and I believe that he’s an outstanding player. I look forward to seeing him when he comes back to Anfield to play against us.
Sterling's £49 million move to the Etihad Stadium turned sour after the winger turned down a new contract at Anfield and was late for pre-season training, insisting he was "ill" at the time, according to BBC Sport.
The 20-year-old is expected to make his Premier League debut for the Citizens against West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening, and manager Manuel Pellegrini is quoted by BBC Sport as saying the new arrival is fitting in well at the club: "He has settled in very well. He wants to come here and wants to have new challenges. He is working very well and it is easy for good players to settle in a good team. I think we are going to have a very successful player this year."
Manchester City are looking to capitalise on the woes of Chelsea and Arsenal following their opening weekend stumbles. The Blues drew 2-2 at home to Swansea City, and the Gunners fell to a 2-0 home defeat against West Ham United.
However, Sterling has maintained a penchant for controversy after completing his move to Manchester City after the Daily Mail reported his car was crashed by a friend over the weekend, with laughing gas found in the passenger seat:
Liverpool have immediately invested any money gained from the sale of their former starlet, funding moves for attackers Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings this summer.
Squawka illustrates what an influential figure the former Queens Park Rangers prodigy was last season in terms of taking on opponents, with Liverpool fan favourite Philippe Coutinho not far behind in those stakes:
With money playing a more prominent role in the running of football and where its youngest talents promote their game, questions of loyalty over lucrative offers are more common than ever before.
Former Everton and Manchester City midfielder Peter Reid appeared as part of a BreatheSport panel and agreed Sterling's sale was the right decision, a natural occurrence in today's business-like industry:
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers will strive to ensure his new signings not only fill the void left by Sterling but help the team rediscover the success that led them to a fierce title contention in the 2013-14 Premier League season.
The Merseysiders are in a jubilant mood after starting their campaign with a 1-0 win at Stoke City on Sunday, but it will be a long wait before fans discover just how telling Sterling's departure really is.