(Reuters) – Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling said the west London club is now his happy place after he opened up on the disappointment linked to his recent Manchester City exit, which left him “fuming and raging”.
Sterling, who joined Chelsea in July, won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups with City but had less playing time last season as manager Pep Guardiola often preferred Phil Foden or Jack Grealish on the left side of attack.
“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,” Sterling told Sky Sports in an interview published on Saturday.
“(There were) misunderstandings, contracts running down. It was a shame to see how it ended in the end because I had such a great time there.
“When you play your heart out, sacrifice some of your kids’ birthdays, and then get treated in a certain way, it’s disappointing.”
The 27-year-old played 47 games in all competitions for City last season but only made the starting line-up 23 times in the Premier League, playing a limited role in City’s run to the title and the Champions League semi-final.
“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. The opportunity I’ve got here to go out and showcase my talents once again… is a blessing in disguise,” he said.
“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.”
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Christian Radnedge)