However, the 23 year old harbours no hard feelings toward his former club and has no regrets about moving to Chelsea, where opportunities were also limited.
Sturridge started training with City's first team age 17 and made his debut in February 2007, only for his season to soon be curtailed by a hip injury.
The takeover by former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in the summer of 2007 took the transfer budget up a level as then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson brought in Rolando Bianchi, Valeri Bojinov, Felipe Caicedo and Benjani during the season.
When Eriksson was replaced by Mark Hughes the following campaign - and then Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed assumed control of the club - Jo, Robinho, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Craig Bellamy were all brought in.
Sturridge was named City's Young Player of the Season in May 2009, but by then he had already decided to allow his contract to expire and then signed for Chelsea.
"I went into the first team when the influx of money came in [from Shinawatra] and they had a lot of strikers coming in," said the England international, who faces City at Etihad Stadium today. "When the new owners [Sheikh Mansour] came in they started spending more money and so for me it was always going to be difficult.
"When I moved to Chelsea it was again difficult with [Didier] Drogba and [Nicolas] Anelka there. I knew I wouldn't play every week but I knew I would learn from both players. I think I've not had an opportunity to show what I can do but I am delighted with how everything went at both clubs. I won some trophies with Chelsea, won the Youth Cup with City, which will always be with me for the rest for my life. I had some great friendships there, so I'd like to thank them for bringing me to where I am today - the Academy people at City were fantastic."
Sturridge has continually had to deal with accusations he has not delivered on the potential he showed, something he rejects.
"People don't realise that from the age of 17 I've had seven managers. For any player who has so many managers it is difficult to settle, because for managers it is difficult to play young players when there is a lot of pressure and adversity at a club. Hopefully this is the club I settle at and stay at for many years to come."
Also today, Tottenham Hotspur travel to West Bromwich Albion with a chance to move within a point of third-placed Chelsea.
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