RAHEEM STERLING has revealed that he was “fuming” at the treatment he received at Manchester City shortly before leaving the club. The winger, 27, ended his seven-year spell at the Etihad Stadium when he joined Chelsea in a £50million move last month. But now he has admitted that he was left disappointed with how things ended. When speaking to Sky Sports , he said:
“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.”
Sterling fell out of favour with Man City boss Pep Guardiola last season, with the Spaniard regularly opting to start Riyad Mahrez in place of the winger towards the end of the campaign. He has since put his not-so shock departure down to “misunderstandings” and the fact that his contract, which was due to expire in 2023, was quickly running down. The England international added:
“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, 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.”
Sterling became the first new addition of the Todd Boehly era when he swapped City for Stamford Bridge. He has likened the opportunity to a “blessing in disguise” and highlighted the new chief’s ambition as one of his main reasons for joining:
“It was their intent, how they approached me. “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.