In his first interview since switching Manchester City for Chelsea, Raheem Sterling has explained why he made the decision to become a Blue and outlined one straightforward but very important objective for the seasons ahead.
The 27-year-old has returned to London after his spells at City and before that at Liverpool, but he has yet to train in England as a Chelsea player. Instead he joined up for pre-season in the United States where he played his first game yesterday when we took on Charlotte FC.
Speaking to our cameras, Sterling described the new challenge that tempted him to sign.
‘Seeing in the last two years it's four or five finals that you guys have been in, the progress, you won the Champions League and are now looking to challenge for the Premier League, it's something that intrigued me when I was having a conversation with the club.
‘Seeing the direction that you guys are going in, it's something I really bought into and I just felt it is a place where I can really come into my own. I just think it's the perfect platform for me.
‘The club's already got that winning mentality,’ he added, ‘but to keep doing it every single year and keep winning more and more trophies and building on the previous season, I think that's what top managers like Thomas [Tuchel] do. It's not one year win and next year rest, it’s again and again and again and that's what excites me to be here.’
The forward also described his initial discussions with our head coach and the welcome he has had from the other players.
‘You can see how genuine he was and how much he wanted me here, and that was the nail on it for me. I was certain that this is a place I want to be.
‘I know a few of the boys from the national team. Mase, Chilly, to name a few, and I've got a good connection with Callum already. I feel at home already and I'm just keep putting the work in and can't wait to gel even more with them.
‘It's been a great first week, I am really settling in, I feel at home now.
‘I say to the fans, thank you for your warm welcome. It's an exciting time for me.
‘I know how much more I have to offer. I still feel within myself that there's another step that I've been fighting to get on to and I think this is the perfect platform for me to do that.
Hopefully I can do that in person at the Bridge for many years to come and just keep bagging them goals in, simple as that!’
Watch the video above for more from Sterling on being back in London and training in Florida.