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Raheem Sterling discusses London “distraction” and why he signed for Chelsea

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Raheem Sterling discusses London “distraction” and why he signed for Chelsea

Raheem Sterling feels he is “mature” enough to dismiss the distractions of London in order to help Chelsea land silverware.

The £47.5million forward, signed from Manchester City last week, made his debut in Wednesday night’s shootout defeat to FC Charlotte after his team were held to a draw. He then explained what returning to London, 12 years after leaving Queens Park Rangers as a raw teenager – with a three-year spell at Liverpool along the way – means to him.

“Coming back to London is a surreal feeling,” he said. “When I went up north I never used to come down that much. My family came up to help me to focus.

“Sometimes London can be a distraction but I am old enough and mature enough with my kids and family, so it will be a lovely opportunity to spend time with my mum and their grandmother. You know how it is, you score and have a game then pop around to mum’s and have some Sunday dinner and pop back up.”

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Sterling’s back story is well documented. His father was murdered when he was two and his mother made the heartbreaking decision to leave him in Jamaica, flying 4,500 miles to London, in order to create a better life for him. He was brought up by his grandmother before rejoining his mother in north-west London a few years later. Sterling and his siblings would join his mother as she cleaned hotel toilets to earn extra cash.

Now he is a footballing superstar with his capture by Chelsea one of the biggest of this summer’s transfer window.

Asked why he decided to work under Thomas Tuchel, he added: “Seeing in the last two years it’s four or five finals that they’ve have been in, the progress, they’ve 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 Chelsea 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 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 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. It’s the challenge ahead and to win more trophies. I don’t want to go into too much detail on my conversations with the manager.

“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.” Sterling is in line to play in Chelsea’s next pre-season friendly, against Arsenal in Orlando on Saturday evening.

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