"Playing time," the reason I joined Chelsea, says Raheem Sterling

Image of Chelsea's winger Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling's move to Chelsea was one of the most surprising transfers this summer, as the England international left Manchester City, the best Premier League team in four of the last five seasons.

The 27-year-old, who was in the final year of his contract with Manchester City, completed a switch to Stamford Bridge in the middle of July for a fee of £47.5m and became Chelsea's first summer signing.

Following his move to Stamford Bridge, Sterling has spoken out about why he left Manchester City for Chelsea, stating that he needed regular playing time at the peak of his career.

"My time at City was getting limited on playing time for different reasons, and you know, it was not the one that I could afford to waste more time on because when I look back at the future, I did not want to look back and see a rise and then a decline," Sterling said in an interview.

"I said it is something that since 17 years, I have been regularly starting, and to get to the peak time of my career, not playing regularly is something I wouldn't kind of accept."

Despite scoring 131 goals in all competitions for Manchester City, Sterling has been rotated among Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, and now Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus in recent seasons.

With the arrival of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez this summer, there would be more competition in the team, and the Englishman could not afford to be given more limited playing time under Pep Guardiola.

Sterling also explained why he chose Chelsea over offers from other European clubs, claiming they compete at a high level.

"You know, at first, I had a few options, but it was one that clearly fit my personal goals and family," Sterling added.

"I think it made a lot of sense and, of course, in the direction the club is going in, and if you look at Chelsea, they have gone to four or five finals in the last five years."

"It is a club that shows that they are going to compete, and they are only going to get better." So for me, with the new owner, it is going to make sense."

Sterling made his Premier League debut for Chelsea as a center-forward in the club's 1-0 win victory over Everton last Saturday. The talented winger has revealed his preferred position, stating that he enjoys playing as a winger and hopes to see more time on the left wing under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel this season.