REUTERS – Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling does not regret forcing through a move away from Liverpool during a “difficult” off season and feels settled now that the negativity surrounding his transfer has died down.
Sterling fell out with Liverpool and their supporters during the protracted transfer saga, which ended in the 20-year-old’s 49 million pound ($74.50 million) move to City, which made him the most expensive English player in history.
The winger appears to have found his feet at his new club, bagging four goals in his last six appearances after a slow start to the season.
“I’m not trying to say I proved anyone wrong. It’s just what I thought at the time was right for me. My heart was saying that is what I should do (move to City) and I have no regrets,” Sterling was quoted as saying by the British media.
“I’m really stubborn. I’m really, really stubborn. Everything goes through one ear and out the other — my mum says that as well. If there is something I want to do, I do it.
“It was difficult. Obviously, you have negativity around you. No one likes to hear the negatives, you want to hear positives all the time,” he added.
The England international, who maintained that his desire to move to City was driven by footballing reasons and not money, thanked his club team mates for helping to make him a better player.
“I go into training every day and see the players of the calibre that I am working with — like Vinny (Vincent Kompany), Sergio (Aguero), David (Silva), Joe (Hart),” he said.
“There is only one thing you can do and that is improve with players like that, who have been around for many years and achieving stuff.”
Sterling, who is likely to feature in England’s friendlies against Spain on Friday and France on Tuesday, has set his sights on winning a century of caps for his country — a feat only nine players have so far achieved.
“I want to do my best for my country and hopefully try to achieve 100 caps in the future,” Sterling said.
“I’m not going to hide that. I’ve got 18 now so hopefully if I keep working hard and do well for my club then I can be picked for more squads.
“It’s a long time away, but 100 caps is definitely my ambition.”
($1 = 0.6577 pounds)
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)