Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that Fernando Torres played a role in signing Raheem Sterling for the Reds.
The Spanish boss acquired the youngster's services from Queens Park Rangers for a reported fee of £600,000 ($975,870, €753,015) in 2010. The England international broke into the Merseyside club's first team in 2012 after Brendan Rodgers gave him his first breakthrough.
Torres left Liverpool and signed for Chelsea in January 2011, following the exit of Benitez from Anfield in the summer of 2010.
"We invited Raheem to Melwood and had a meeting with him and his mother. I walked around the complex with them and was showing them the facilities and we got as far as the physio's room," the Mirror quoted Benitez as saying.
"Fernando was there – and I think Steven Gerrard, too. But definitely Fernando. I explained what Raheem and his mum were doing, and I told Fernando what we thought of the young player we had brought in."
Fernando and Gerrard meeting
"He had a quick chat with him, asking how he was getting on. He was interested in him. Raheem was really pleased – and you could see his mum was, too – really impressed that the club's biggest players had made a fuss of him.
"It was strange for me to show the young players around because in Spain, the manager doesn't go around with new players, even younger ones.
"But I think they appreciated that we, all of us, had taken time to speak to them. Torres and Gerrard really were the big players in our team at that time. As the manager, it was a great for me to have them around," he added.
Sterling's brilliant run for the club has seen him play for England during their disappointing World Cup campaign. He was one of the star player's for Liverpool during their last season's rise in form.
Benitez admitted that he will be playing a crucial role for both Liverpool and England in the future.
"We soon saw what everyone is seeing now. He has this pace and ability and is very comfortable in possession," the former Liverpool manager said.
"He was not scared of receiving the ball in any position. He is a big asset for any manager because he can play anywhere along the front for club and his country," Benitez concluded.