Player transfer: Sterling to Chelsea
It is finally official; the Blues have their man! Chelsea just announced the transfer of Raheem Sterling, making him the highest earner at the South London club and changing the team’s dynamics completely.
What does the former Manchester City winger bring to Chelsea and what will this deal set in motion? Read on for our transfer analysis below!
Why Manchester City are selling him
The transfer of Erling Haaland was always going to cause some changes at City. We are finally seeing them as two of Manchester City’s most direct attackers have now departed. First, Gabriel Jesus was signed by Arsenal and now, Sterling has left for Chelsea. That is not by accident.
Fans wondered how Haaland would fit into Pep Guardiola’s famously demanding style that prioritizes absolute game control. Now, they have an answer. The Spaniard does not plan to.
By selling Gabriel Jesus and Sterling, Guardiola has ensured that Haaland is the only direct forward in his starting lineup, allowing him to pack the other forward positions with technical wide players like Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva.
How Sterling will fit in at Chelsea
By now, the traits Thomas Tuchel values highly in a player are well-known. The Chelsea coach has an obvious soft spot for talented players that not only work hard for the team but can also play in several positions at a very high level.
In Sterling, he is getting a player that is not only accomplished at playing across the entire forward line, but one that played regularly for Pep Guardiola for several years, a manager quick to get rid of lazy players.
It is easy to envision an interchangeable forward line of Sterling, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount that will give Tuchel even greater tactical flexibility. If the rumors about Ronaldo joining from Manchester United turn out to be true, Sterling can also play off an established center forward, as he did alongside Aguero.
Last season, Sterling scored 17 goals and had 9 assists in 47 appearances. At Chelsea, those numbers should shoot even higher, given his increased importance to his new team.
How it will benefit the English National Team
At international tournaments, players often find it difficult to establish enough chemistry to win tournaments. The best international teams either have an overwhelming talent level like France at the 2018 World Cup, or partnerships across the starting lineup, like Spain between 2008-2012.
Sterling moving to Chelsea is a good thing for England, as he can build vital partnerships with Ben Chilwell and Reece James, two fullbacks expected to star for England at this year’s World Cup. The increased time spent playing with the two fullbacks, along with Mason Mount can provide the English team the impetus it needs to finally make sure that ‘it’s coming home’ becomes reality this time.
Chelsea expectations next season
The signing of Romelu Lukaku was supposed to bridge the gap between Chelsea and Manchester City/Liverpool. Unfortunately, that did not work out as Chelsea finished a distant third, 18 and 19 points behind the top two.
This season, things have changed. Lukaku has returned to Inter Milan, if only for a short while and Sterling is the new leader of a new-look attack. The new owner, Todd Boehly, will demand an improvement on last season. While a Premier League win might still be out of reach for the Blues, a proper challenge will be expected, as well as an improvement on the two runner-up cup finishes last season.
So, what do you think? Do you think Sterling can produce the goods and fire Chelsea back to where they want to be?
Let us know in the comments!