Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City in a deal worth £50million.
The England striker leaves the Etihad Stadium after seven stellar years, scoring 131 goals in 337 appearances and winning four Premier League titles.
The England winger flew to Los Angeles to approve his astonishing move to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The Kingston-born England striker spent his summer vacation in Jamaica but is now in Los Angeles to rejoin his new teammates and complete his £50m move to the London club.
Posting a video of his City highlights on Instagram, Sterling wrote in a message to the club: “Seven seasons, eleven major trophies, a lifetime of memories.
“To the coaching staff who have played a huge role in my development over the years, to my teammates who have become more than those I share a pitch with, to the behind-the-scenes staff, to the office staff, to the fans who have tirelessly supported the team, and to everyone involved with Manchester City, my respect for you couldn’t be greater.
“What a race it has been. I am grateful for the ups and downs. As these are the lows that have sometimes tested my strength and my resolve, and allowed me to stand here before you as the best possible version of myself.
“I came to Manchester at 20, today I leave as a man. Thank you for your unwavering support. It was an honor to wear the Manchester City shirt.
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Sterling becomes Chelsea’s first major signing under new owner Todd Boehly after the US billionaire bought the club from Roman Abramovich in May.
It also marks a return home to west London for the 27-year-old, who grew up at Wembley and played for Queens Park Rangers academy before joining Liverpool in 2010.
Former City winger Trevor Sinclair had pleaded with his former club to keep Sterling and insists Chelsea have signed a ‘superstar’.
Sinclair told talkSPORT: “His adopted home in England (because he’s from Jamaica) is London, Wembley – and he’s been away from home since 2010.
“I don’t think anyone at Man City has guaranteed playing time. He wanted it, he couldn’t get it.
“If he wants guaranteed minutes, especially in a World Cup year, we have to understand that he wants to play.
“It’s not like he was looking for money, he just wanted to play.
“I think Chelsea are becoming an absolute superstar.”
Meanwhile, Aston Villa legend Gabby Agbonlahor agrees the move is “perfect” for Sterling and Chelsea.
The former striker told talkSPORT: “That sums him up as a player and what he wants to achieve: he wants to play football.
“Last season you saw a lot of pictures of him on the bench looking angry and confused, ‘Why am I not playing?’
“Maybe he was a bit undervalued by Man City. England fans also underestimate him and he was our best player at Euro 2020.
“The number of goals he scores for a winger, he scored over 100 goals for City, those numbers are unbelievable.
“He has to play every week and Chelsea is a perfect decision for him.”
However, former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan is unconvinced by the deal.
He insists City wouldn’t sell Sterling if they expected the striker to become such an asset to their Premier League rivals, while also questioning the winger’s lack of playing time at the Etihad last season.
Jordan told talkSPORT: “The argument is, ‘Why would you want to strengthen your opposition? Well, it’s clear that Man City don’t feel overly concerned about Sterling’s reinforcement of Chelsea.
“Tuchel tends to buy decent players. On paper, because of the name, where it’s from, where it’s going, the new owner… it looks like a really big signature.
“Personally, I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think it will bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. But we will see.
“I think he’s been OK for Man City. If he had excelled for Man City, he wouldn’t leave because he doesn’t have enough games.
“I think he did well, if you come in from the City side it’s a stupid argument to say he’s not a good player. Nobody thinks that.
“I don’t think he doesn’t do it enough. He scores goals but I think anyone would score goals playing for Man City.
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