Brendan Rodgers today reacted to news that Raheem Sterling had signed a new contract and declared that it was great news for the future of Liverpool Football Club.
The 18-year-old committed his future to the Reds by putting pen to paper on the deal at Melwood on Friday afternoon.
And Rodgers explained to Liverpoolfc.com how the contract was another important step forward for the club.
Brendan, how pleased are you to have signed Raheem Sterling on a new long-term deal?
It's great news for the football club and great news for Raheem. Everyone who has worked with him deserves a great amount of credit because he has been terrific this season and hopefully now he has signed, he has that security of knowing where his development is going to take place. And now he can push on and progress. It's great news for the club.
Is ensuring he fulfils his vast potential your number one priority?
Absolutely. That was always the case. [The contract] wasn't just about financial [terms], it was very important that his football plan was in place and he understood where he was going. He's 18 years of age and hopefully has many more years here at Liverpool. It's great for him and we're delighted that he has signed.
What does the deal say about the club's commitment to keeping their best players?
It says everything. He was a very coveted young player before he came in here and lots of great work has gone on even before he came up to work with me in the first team. This season he has been able to come up and he has taken his opportunity. What we are trying to create here is a core of top young talent alongside our top senior players. For us it's a great time for any young player to come into Liverpool because they know they are going to get an opportunity and they can develop very, very quickly. Young players will look at Raheem and see what he has achieved in his first six months and that will be a great draw for any young talent wanting to play at a big club.
He joins the likes of Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jonjo Shelvey and Suso - all players who have committed their future to the club in recent months. Does that tell us they have real belief in the long-term vision here?
It's very important that you have got players of that ilk. Like Suarez, Skrtel and Agger, who is arguably the best central-defender in world football. So for these guys to believe in what we are trying to achieve and be willing to stay with it because they are enjoying their work, I think that is a great credit to everyone at the football club. Hopefully in the coming years they can be a part of a successful team on the field.