Sterling: Staying at Man City was a waste of time
Sterling spent seven years at the Etihad Stadium between 2015 and 2022, winning the Premier League on five occasions during that spell while also accumulating more than 300 appearances for the club.
But he found first-team football hard to come by towards the end, and jumped at the chance to reboot his career at Stamford Bridge in a £50 million move.
"Since I was 17 I've been a regular starter, and to get to the peak in my career, not to be playing regularly was something I wouldn't accept," Sterling explained to the BBC.
"My personality is to try to fight and change the scenario, but it didn't come and that was it.
"As a person you strive to achieve, and I just felt my time at City was getting limited on playing time for different reasons.
"I couldn't afford to waste that time, so I needed to keep that same level and a fresh challenge."
No place like home
The move also represents a return to Sterling's roots, having grown up in London prior to his move from Queens Park Rangers to Liverpool as a youngster.
"This was the option that was tailor-made to my personal goals, and with my family as well, and the direction the club is going in," he added.
"It's a team that's competing and only going to get better. With the new ownership as well, it made a lot of sense.
"It was tough, of course, with the time I spent at City and there's lots of memories and top moments.
"But the year and a bit that I was in and out of the team taught me a lot about myself, made me value a lot of things and I tried to get things in order.
"You have to make the decision that's best for yourself."