Wenger defends Sterling over City switch

Arsene Wenger has leapt to the defence of Raheem Sterling over the winger's move from Liverpool to Manchester City.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rejected claims that Raheem Sterling caused a fuss over his protracted switch from Liverpool to Manchester City.

Speculation was rife towards the end of 2014-15 and through the off-season that the England international would depart, with the switch finally completed last month for a reported fee of £49million.

The manner of Sterling's departure - the 20-year-old rejecting a contract offer of £100,000 a week at Liverpool - drew the ire of many, but Wenger believes the player did little wrong.

"I personally rate Raheem Sterling, we will see that in the longer term," said Wenger, whose Arsenal side host Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday.

"I personally don't think that Sterling was making a lot of drama. It's just during the transfer window that that happened.

"During the season the boy was quiet, never made any stupid statement. I don't think he made too much noise.

"Will they miss him? He's a quality player. But they bought [Roberto] Firmino. We will see what he will produce. He is a similar player.

"But let's remember two years ago with [Luis] Suarez, [Daniel] Sturridge and Sterling, they scored over a hundred goals.

"Score more than a hundred goals in the Premier League, you need special quality to do that, and Sterling was part of that."