Raheem Sterling has revealed he left Liverpool and joined Manchester City so that he could play with top players and fulfil his potential.
The England international made the switch from Anfield to the Etihad in the summer of 2015 for £49m, a year after his former club were beaten to the title by Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Speaking to FourFourTwo via the Liverpool Echo, Sterling insisted that his full potential as a player could only be reached by playing alongside the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
“It was just about the players that were here,” he said.
“I could name 10 or 11 who have played at the highest level – people like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure.
“For me to develop my game I had to be playing with the best and that’s why I came here.”
Brendan Rodgers first brought Sterling through into the Liverpool first team, and he emerged as a real talent.
The former QPR youth team player formed a prolific partnership with Liverpool’s forwards Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, but emphasised that he had no hesitations about leaving Anfield when City came calling.
“When I was younger, I could always see this club growing and achieving great things.
“When I found out that they were interested in signing me, there were no second thoughts.
“I want to be fighting for trophies for the next 10 years, and there’s no better place to do that than here.”
Sterling underachieved by all accounts during his first season in Manchester, but since Pep Guardiola arrived at the Etihad, his form has vastly improved. He has scored four league goals already this season, just two less than he managed all of last term.
He spoke about adapting to a change of scenery last year, but insists he is not making any excuses for his poor form.
“It all came so thick and fast last year that I didn’t get much thinking time to myself.
“When you sign, you’ve got to move house, adjust to the city – there was just a lot going on. But I’m not making excuses.
“This is the job I signed up for and it’s the job that I love the most. Maybe last year was a difficult time, but that’s all in the past.”