Raheem Sterling has said he was “fuming” and “raging” at the way his Manchester City career came to an end this summer.
The forward ended his seven-year spell at the Etihad Stadium after sealing a transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea in a deal worth up to £50 million.
Sterling previously said a lack of game time led to his departure but he has now expressed his unhappiness with how he was treated at City.
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“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.”
When asked about the biggest factors leading up to his Chelsea move, 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.”
Since his move to Stamford Bridge, Sterling has started both Chelsea’s opening league games and grabbed an assist in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham last week.
Sterling said he is grateful to new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly for bringing him to the club and giving him the chance to enjoy his football again.
“It was their intent, how they approached me,” Sterling said. “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.
“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.”