Sterling decision ‘natural’
Raheem says his move away from Liverpool was always an option
BY MATT MALTBY/ As Raheem Sterling has opened up on his Liverpool exit by revealing for the first time that it was always his plan to assess his options if the club struggled to win trophies.
The 21-year-old winger left the Reds for Manchester City at the beginning of last season in a £49million (Sh6.14bn) move but was criticised for the way the transfer came about.
Sterling then struggled to hit the ground running in his debut season at the Etihad but is finally showing his potential under Pep Guardiola’s guidance this term.
And the England attacker has now revealed it was decided at the age of 15 that he would consider leaving the Anfield outfit if the move didn’t work out. Speaking to Gary Lineker on BBC’s Premier League show, Sterling said: “I’ve never mentioned this to anyone but I’ll never forget when me and my agent were on our way to Liverpool on the train.
At that time I was 15 years old and we were already talking about what we’d like to do after Liverpool if things didn’t turn out like we wanted.
“I just said well this is a massive club and a massive opportunity for me now but I remember saying to him by the time I’m 22, if I haven’t won anything or playing in the biggest competitions then I need to assess my options.
“You want to make sure you’re playing at the highest level. Liverpool are a great team, I never said that wasn’t the case. But at the time it was a great opportunity to come here and work with some of the best players in the world.
“I’m not saying there aren’t some great players at Liverpool because there are but it was for me, my development and where I wanted to be. It was about playing in the Champions League and against the biggest teams like Barcelona; for me that’s a massive game to be involved in.
“I’m very driven. Sometimes I don’t say too much because it comes back to bite you as that’s the world we live in today. “I have dreams I really want to fulfill and with the faith I’ve got, I’m looking to achieve them.
“I want to win Champions Leagues, Premier Leagues and hopefully something with my country too.”
“I’ve always loved Liverpool, it was a great team which helped my development. I never had any big issues there at all; with the fans or anything like that. It didn’t go the way I would have liked but it happened and you have to move on.”
“I have dreams I really want to fulfill and with the faith I’ve got, I’m looking to achieve them.” –RAHEEM STERLING
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring his first goal with Raheem Sterling again Barcelona in their Uefa Champions League Group ‘C ‘ natch at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.