‘My son misses his friends’: Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling explains difficulties leaving Manchester City

Raheem Sterling reveals an increase in game time and a chance to return to London led to his Manchester City exit.

England and Chelsea new signing Raheem Sterling has revealed how hard it was to leave Manchester City but he felt it was the right thing to do for more game time.

Sterling enjoyed seven glittering years in Manchester but felt it was time for him to pack his suitcase and seek a new challenge when the Chelsea opportunity came calling.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed more game time than anyone else under Pep Guardiola and scored 131 goals for the Citizens, second only to Sergio Aguero.

But his influence on the team has begun to wane in recent seasons.

He spent more time on the bench and clearly his body language showed a man who felt he was under appreciated and underused.

Raheem Sterling of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The England star requested to go out on-loan last January which the club turned down, before agreeing a stunning £47.5million deal to sell him to Chelsea last month.

Asked how difficult it was leaving behind his home for the last seven years, he revealed the issues with quitting Manchester.

At his first Chelsea press conference, he said: “My time at City was a lot of memories and a lot of tough moments, but for a year and a bit I was in and out of the team.

“It taught me a lot about myself and it made me not value a lot of things and I tried to get things in order.

“But things happen for a lot of reasons and I kept with that mentality and it was difficult.

“My kids went to school there and my son now misses his friends, but again it’s those things in life that you have to make a decision for yourself and your family.”

Chelsea home debut on this Sunday

Sterling made his Chelsea debut over the weekend in the club’s 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park, but he will be introduced to the Chelsea fans on his home debut against Tottenham this Sunday.

Regarded by many as one of the best players in the Premier League, Chelsea fans feel they have a man who is entering his prime and the right profile to lead them into the new era under Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital ownership.

Working with Thomas Tuchel is clearly one of the key reasons that made him return to London to play for Chelsea and said he was convinced after the German told him he was after his direct runs in behind opposition defences.

“He said to me, my directness, threatening behind. Most importantly, how I attack the box, with the full-backs we have here, he wants to see a lot more,” Sterling said.

The Blues now hope that Manchester City’s loss is their gain and he will score the goals that will see them win the Premier League and the Champions League, or at least put up a firm challenge for it.