Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling says he was left “fuming” and “raging” at how his Manchester City career ended.
Sterling spent seven successful seasons at City, where he won four Premier League titles, four League Cups and one FA Cup, before joining Chelsea for £47.5million (€57 million) in July.
But the England international’s stay at the Etihad Stadium soured last term as he made 23 starts in City’s Premier League title triumph.
“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.”
Sterling scored 131 goals in 339 appearances after joining City from Liverpool for £44m in July 2015.
But the 27-year-old says he felt that he was fighting a losing battle to secure a first-team place under Pep Guardiola.
On his summer departure, Sterling, speaking ahead of Chelsea’s league visit to Leeds on Sunday, added: “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.
“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.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) July 13, 2022
“If you are not happy playing your football you’ve got to look at other options to get that happiness back, and that’s exactly what I have done.
“It was the right time for me to move on. I wouldn’t stay part of something I knew I couldn’t give my all in.
“It (City) is a fantastic club, it’s a club that wins lots of trophies, it’s a club that has helped my development massively in the past couple of years.
“But there comes a time when you’ve got to think about yourself, what’s best for yourself, and what you want for the future. That’s the sole reason why I am here (at Chelsea).”
Sterling, who grew up in London, says he wants to enjoy his football again after becoming the first major signing of new Blues owner Todd Boehly’s era at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “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.”