Raheem Sterling admits he was left “fuming, raging” about how his Manchester City career ended.
The 27-year-old swapped City for Chelsea this summer, moving to Stamford Bridge in a £47.5m transfer after seven years at the Etihad having scored 131 goals in 339 appearances, winning four Premier League titles, four League Cups, and one FA Cup.
However, he lost his starting place under Pep Guardiola last season, starting only 23 matches, cutting a frustrated figure on the bench for a large part of the campaign.
Electric England score SIX against Iran to get World Cup campaign started in style
"Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different," Sterling told Sky Sports.
"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."
- Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte fined by FA for touchline clash after Chelsea's draw with Spurs
- 'What's the point?' - Thomas Tuchel says he's unimpressed at Mike Dean's apology
Sterling conceded that it was a “shame to see how it ended in the end because I had such a great time there”.
"A lot of things came into play,” he continued.
“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]."
Sterling, who was new owner Todd Boehly’s first marquee signing, said joining Chelsea was a no-brainer.
"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."
‘I don’t think it’s too much' – Coady wants players to speak out
Gabriel goal sinks Chelsea and sends Arsenal back to top of Premier League
Share this article