Chelsea has finally made a splash in the summer transfer window. The Blues have reached an agreement with Manchester City to sign Raheem Sterling for £47.5 million.
With the likes of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez arriving at Manchester City this summer, there will be even more competition for playing time in an already crowded front line. Sterling is looking for a new challenge in Western London, where he will likely receive more consistent playing time. At Chelsea, Sterling hopes to play a pivotal role in the attack and build upon the success he experienced at City, where he scored 131 goals and won four Premier League titles.
Sterling is a perfect fit for Chelsea as they look to battle for the Premier League and Champions League titles this upcoming season.
He is a dynamic winger whose versatility and positioning in the box separates him from the rest of Chelsea’s forwards in terms of quality, and will certainly be an upgrade for a team that has struggled offensively.
At City, Sterling played on both the left and the right on the front line. In his last 50 games, Sterling played 28 of them on the left and 17 of them on the right. For the remaining five he played down the center.
In that same period, Pulisic has played only three games on the right, with most of his time spent on the left. Ziyech is the same way. He has only played two games on the left, with all his other appearances coming on the right and in the center. Ziyech is also linked to a move away from the club, being linked to AC Milan.
Sterling has proven that he can play well on both sides of the attacking line, giving manager Thomas Tuchel more options when creating his lineups.
Sterling is a threat in one-on-one situations, where he uses his speed and acceleration to beat defenders. His ability to cut infield and take players down the line makes Sterling unpredictable and dangerous when dribbling towards goal.
Sterling is an underrated attacking contributor, ranking second in goals and assists under Pep Guardiola. His 120 goals and 66 assists only trail Lionel Messi’s incredible 211 goals and 80 assists.
Chelsea has recently had trouble in front of the net. Since Eden Hazard left in the Summer of 2019, the club has not had a wide attacker score more than ten goals in a Premier League season, something Sterling has done every season for the past five.
Last season, Pulisic, Ziyech, and Werner scored 14 goals across 66 games collectively in the Premier League. If the blues want to compete for titles this upcoming season, their wingers need to find better spaces in and around the box to maximize their efficiency in front of the net.
Positioning is Sterling’s greatest strength. He may not have the finishing ability of the top strikers in Europe, but Sterling is constantly a threat on goal.
His positioning separates him from some of Chelsea’s other wingers who struggle in front of goal. Sterling is one of the best in the world at connecting with low crosses across the face of the net. He times his runs perfectly and scores many of his goals from close range.
Last season Sterling scored eight goals from within the six-yard box. Combined, Pulisic, Ziyech, and Werner only scored four.
Chelsea’s formation plays to Sterling’s ability to get on the end of crosses around the goal. With the Blues often opting to play with a three-man back line, the wingbacks will be more involved in the attacking play. Chelsea’s front three will be narrower which will allow Sterling to position himself in front of the net and score efficiently when the crosses come in.
Sterling’s versatility to play both on the left and the right, ability to beat defenders one on one, and positioning in the box, will help him experience success at Chelsea. Can he lead the Blue’s attempt to overthrow his former club and win the Premier League for the first time since 2016?