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20th Aug 2022

“At the time I was fuming, raging” – Raheem Sterling opens up about Manchester City exit

Lee Costello

‘It’s a blessing in disguise’

When Raheem Sterling left Liverpool to go to Manchester City for £50m, he was the young wonderkid, full of raw potential and talent.

The winger had speed, skill, heart, he just needed to be coached, disciplined, and gain experience, all of which Man City and Pep Guardiola provided him.

Soon the Englishman was a frightening footballer, adding goals to his game, and playing a key role in securing many trophies for his club, including four Premier League titles.

At 27-years-old, the silky speedster should be in the prime of his playing career. But for one reason or another was out of favour at the Etihad.

His manager no longer seen him as a first choice selection, and this forced Sterling to seek a move elsewhere.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different, when you play your heart out, sacrifice some of your kids’ birthdays, and then get treated in a certain way, it’s disappointing.

“At the time I was fuming, raging, but it’s gone, it’s in the past and I can only focus on the present, which is now, here at Chelsea, and the opportunity I’ve got here to go out and showcase my talents once again.”

“A lot of things came into play, a lot of reasons, but I wasn’t complaining, I was ready to challenge and, as you can see, even with some of the performances I put in, you couldn’t guarantee yourself a place so it just didn’t make sense to fight a battle you can never win.”

“As a player you always want to do your best and help your team, but when you don’t think things are going fairly, it’s always a disappointment.

“If you are not happy playing your football you’ve got to look at other options to get that happiness back, and that’s exactly what I have done. It was the right time for me to move on. I wouldn’t stay part of something I knew I couldn’t give my all in.

“It [City] is a fantastic club, it’s a club that wins lots of trophies, it’s a club that has helped my development massively in the past couple of years, but there comes a time when you’ve got to think about yourself, what’s best for yourself, and what you want for the future. That’s the sole reason why I am here [at Chelsea].”

With the battle seemingly lost, and Sterling unwilling to spend his prime years on the bench, it was decided that a move to Chelsea would be best suited for him.

“It was their intent, how they approached me,” Sterling explained. “I wasn’t listening to promises, I was seeing action and I think that was one of the factors that made me really consider the football club, the way they showed me how important a role I could have here.

“Looking back on what they have achieved here in the last couple of years, the finals they missed out on, the new owner taking over, it’s a team that is always competing on all fronts and I knew it would only get better. I didn’t need to make another choice.

“It was a possibility I wouldn’t let pass. It’s a blessing in disguise, it’s another challenge and a challenge I’ll look back on at the end of my career and know I stepped up to the plate and I can be happy with myself.

“The most part was just getting to play football week in, week out. It was the first time in my career experiencing that, it was kind of a shock, so I just wanted to get back playing and enjoying my football again. It was as simple as that, and I knew that once I could do that, I could be happy and show that on the field.”

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