Video: I have a lot of respect for Liverpool, says Rafael Benítez

Rafael Benítez speaks of his respect for Liverpool and claims some of the changes he implemented at the club's academy have paid dividends

Rafael Benitez has spoken of his “respect” for Liverpool and believes that the changes he set in motion at the club’s academy have helped unearth young talent at Anfield.

The Spaniard left Anfield at the end of the 2009-10 season after leading the Reds to a seventh-place finish in the league – and the former Valencia boss feels the Merseysiders suffered as a result of the former owners’ approach to managing the club.

“I have a lot of respect for the club and also the fans,” said Benitez. “When I left things were going in one way and everything changed later on. They were more thinking about it as a business and now you can see where they are. But it’s not for me to judge what they’re doing now.

“In my last year in charge we tried to control the academy a bit more. We changed the ideas, the style of play and the coaching.

“Now you can see Raheem Sterling, Suso, Andre Wisdom and all these players coming through, so I think that’s a good thing for the club in the future.”

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