According to Sky Sports, Chelsea are close to agreeing on a fee with Manchester City for England international Raheem Sterling. A fee of around £50m has been mooted, as the 27-year-old looks set to return to the capital, where he spent his childhood.
Played his part in City’s trophy-laden campaigns
It seems strange to say it about an England international who has been so successful, but Raheem Sterling is often underrated. The forward has been directly involved in 165 goals in 320 top-flight appearances for first Liverpool and then City. That is a respectable tally for any attacking player. It is especially good for a player who seems to be on the end of some harsh criticism from both media and fans.
He has played a big part in City’s recent highly successful run in the Premier League, where he has won the English top-flight on four occasions.
A move to Chelsea will mean Sterling is still playing for a top team under a top head coach in Thomas Tuchel. It may also mean more regular starts, as he started just 23 Premier League games last season while making seven substitute appearances. He still managed to score 13 top-flight goals for the Citizens.
Sterling could be the ideal player for a Tuchel team
Sterling is undoubtedly a highly talented player who can score and create goals for his teammates. His versatility is a massive bonus for any team he plays for, as he can play in virtually any position across the attack.
His versatility would be a big plus at Chelsea, where head Thomas Tuchel is attempting to bring in players that suit his style of play. Romelu Lukaku, who returned to Inter on a season-long loan deal, did not fit into Tuchel’s style.
However, as he was the club-record signing, there was no doubt that the German was under pressure to play the Belgium international. With Lukaku now gone, Tuchel has a chance to bring in the players he wants.
The former Everton player may have seemed like a good signing last summer, but maybe he wasn’t signed by Tuchel but rather by the club’s recruitment team. For some reason, Sterling just seems to fit a Tuchel team better than Lukaku.
Chelsea still needs to strengthen this summer
Beyond Raheem Sterling, the Chelsea squad is in need of improvement elsewhere this summer if they are to get anywhere near Manchester City and Liverpool next season.
The Blues lost two centre-backs, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, who left for Barcelona and Real Madrid as free agents. Rudiger, in particular, has played a big part in Chelsea’s defence in recent seasons and will be difficult to replace. The fact that the club didn’t receive a fee for either player makes the losses even worse, as although the club have money, they will still have to comply with FFP in their transfer dealings.
Sterling will likely be the first of several new arrivals at the club from south west London. The move makes sense for Chelsea and the player on paper. Only time will tell if it makes sense on the pitch.
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Will Raheem Sterling be a success at Chelsea?