RAHEEM STERLING cannot wait to be at his mum’s house eating Sunday lunch after “banging in the goals” at Stamford Bridge.
And Chelsea’s £47.5million signing says he is now “mature and old enough” to deal with the distractions of London.
Raheem Sterling, 27, made his Blues debut in the early hours of Thursday morning against Charlotte FC having completed his five-year move from Manchester City last week.
Chelsea ultimately lost 5-3 on penalties after drawing 1-1 in North Carolina.
Returning to London will feel like a proper homecoming for Sterling having grown up near Wembley Stadium and starting in the QPR academy before heading up north with Liverpool and then City.
But forget the nightlife and tourist attractions the capital has to offer — the England international has family and football on his mind.
In his first interview since joining up with his team-mates on their USA pre- season tour, he said: “Every time I get back to London it is a surreal feeling.
“When I first went up north I never really used to come down much.
“My family used to always come up so I could stay focused on work. Sometimes London can be a distraction.
“But I am old enough now, mature enough. For my kids and family, it is going to be a big opportunity for us to spend more quality time with my mum, their grandmother, and be closer together.
“You know what it is like. You score or you win a game, pop round to mum’s and have some Sunday dinner and pop back home. It is lovely.”
He added: “It is an exciting time for me. I know how much more I have to offer.
“I still feel within myself that there is another step that I will be fighting to get on to.
“This is the perfect platform for me to be on to do that.
“I can do that at the Bridge for many years to come, banging goals in. Simple as that.”
Raheem Sterling was allowed to leave by Pep Guardiola after seven trophy-laden seasons as the City boss rebuilds his squad with a younger feel to it.
Yet Raheem Sterling believes he still has another level to find under boss Thomas Tuchel as he tries to close the gap between Chelsea and the formidable duo of City and Liverpool.
At City, he won four Premier League titles, five League Cups and one FA Cup, yet the Champions League has so far eluded him — losing to Chelsea in the final in 2021.
And he hopes to gain that family feel on the pitch, as well as off it, with the likes of Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell being so welcoming.
Sterling added: “What excites me about coming to Chelsea is seeing the last two years you guys have been in four or five finals. The progress of winning the Champions League and now looking to challenge for the Premier League.
“It’s something that intrigued me when I was having a conversation with the club. The chat with the manager wasn’t the longest but you can see how genuine he was and how much he wanted me here.
“That made me certain this is the place I want to be.
“The club has already got that winning mentality but it is about doing that every single year and winning more and more trophies and building on previous seasons.
“That’s what top managers like Thomas do. It is not one year win and the next is rest. It is again and again.
“Seeing the direction these guys are going, it is something that I really bought into and it’s somewhere I can really come into my own.”
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