By Coral Barry
Ronny Deila believes Brendan Rodgers can nurture Celtic’s youth in the same way he did when he was the Liverpool manager.
Rodgers was announced as Deila’s successor this week and the Norwegian believes the former Premier League boss has the right skills to make Celtic’s youngsters, like Patrick Roberts and Kieran Tierney, into great players.
The Hoops teenage duo shone in Celtic’s final game under Deila as Roberts added his sixth goal of the Scottish Premiership season and Tierney grabbed his first goal as a Hoops player in the 7-0 rout against Motherwell.
Deila believes Rodgers’ record at his previous clubs makes him the perfect man to get the best out of Celtic’s youngsters and thinks there is a wealth of talent for the Northern Irishman to work with.
“The club has to look to young players now,” said Deila speaking to the Scottish Sun. “That is what Celtic is about — developing talent.
“Brendan showed at Swansea and Liverpool, and in his other jobs, that he is very good at doing that. There is a lot of talent at Celtic and there needs to be a culture of improvement in every area of the club.
“I know that Brendan thinks in the same way. He is very good at shaping younger players and improving them.
“There is a lot of potential in the Celtic team and I believe Brendan will get the very best out of them.”
One player Rodgers did manage to get the very best of was Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.
The winger was carefully managed at Anfield by Rodgers before eventually becoming a first-team regular and one of the most influential players in the Premier League.
Sterling had yet to turn 17 when Rodgers took over in 2012, but was sold to Manchester City for a remarkable £50million last summer as a 20-year-old.
Another former Liverpool great that credits Rodgers with helping him become the player he is today is Barcelona’s Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan has enjoyed his best ever season as a striker with 59 goals in all competitions, but insisted that he was helped immensely by the influence of Celtic’s new manager.
“If it wasn’t for Brendan, then I know I would not be the same player that you see at Barcelona today,” said Suarez, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“Such a big part of my education is down to him and his management.”
In other Celtic news, another Liverpool legend has been backed for a reunion with Rodgers at Celtic Park.