Raheem Sterling reveals feelings of injustice and says he was ‘raging’ at Manchester City exit

Raheem-Sterling Chelsea August 2022

New Chelsea signing Raheem Sterling says he was left “raging” at the nature of his departure at Manchester City and admits his stay there became untenable.

The England forward brought the curtain down on seven trophy-laden seasons at The Etihad this summer. The 27-year-old sealed a £47.5m transfer to Stamford Bridge in July. And it’s a move which has restored his love of the game.

“Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different,” Sterling exclusively 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.”

Pressed on the biggest factors behind his decision to trade Manchester City for Chelsea, Sterling said: “Misunderstandings, contracts running down. 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.”

‘Right time to move on’

Sterling won four Premier League titles, four League Cups, and one FA Cup with City. But it was his peripheral role last season which forced him to look elsewhere.

He made 23 starts in the Premier League for City en route to their title victory. But Sterling thought he was being treated harshly by Pep Guardiola.

Asked whether his time at City had become untenable, Sterling replied: “Yes, it was literally that.

“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].”

Chelsea’s intent key for Sterling

Raheem Sterling training Chelsea August 2022

Todd Boehly and Thomas Tuchel are understood to have promised to build a team around Sterling in west London. And Sterling admitted the ‘intent’ the Blues showed persuaded him to head south.

“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.”

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling pens emotional open letter to Man City supporters after Chelsea switch