Chelsea has signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for a reported $47.5m. Thomas Tuchel needed to bring in reinforcements after sending out-of-favor Romelu Lukaku back to Inter Milan on loan. The Blues have their fingers crossed that this big signing will work out better than their last two major summer signings (Lukaku and Timo Werner).
Chelsea scored 76 goals in the last EPL campaign, ranking them a distant third in total goals for the season. They accomplished this without a bona fide striker and with their top scorer bagging only 11 goals (Mason Mount). No other player scored more than eight. While they were able to find goals from various sources throughout the season, a focal point for the attack is critical if they hope to challenge for the title. The move for Sterling represents their belief that the 27 year-old can be that focal point.
(Side note: It’s interesting that Manchester City have moved on from both Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus. Which player still at City will benefit the most from this?)
Raheem Sterling was born in Jamaica. When he was two years old his father was murdered, and three years later he and his mother moved to England.
After spending time with Queen Park Rangers as a youth, he signed with Liverpool in 2010. At 17 he made is debut for the full Liverpool squad. He scored 18 goals over his four years at Liverpool.
He transferred to Manchester City in 2015 for a reported £44 million. It wasn’t until his third season at the Etihad when he truly began to make his mark, scoring 18 goals. He followed that with seasons of 17 and then 20. His final two seasons saw his goal production decrease precipitously (10 and 13), as Pep roulette cut into his playing time.
Since 2021 he’s appeared for England 77 times, scoring 19 goals.
How will Sterling fit in at Chelsea?
Chelsea are clearly looking for a goal scorer with this move. Sterling is flexible a player who can move out wide to use his pace and quickness, and that’s often where Pep used him.
“He’s a big improvement to our squad and is exactly what we were looking for in terms of age, experience, and style of play,” said Thomas Tuchel.
It will be interesting to see how Tuchel lines him up. I think Sterling will begin as the focal point of attack. While they have many other attacking alternatives, presently Chelsea don’t have any other true strikers. There is talent at Chelsea, but there has also been a lack of consistent goal production.
If Sterling can start off early with some goals, there is potential here for a big season. At 27, he should be able to make an impact and build on his experience. But he has a track record of profligacy in front of goal, and so maybe there’s a reason City let him go.
Sterling has been a streaky these last few seasons, and therefore he’s been an inconsistent fantasy asset. When starting and in-form, he’s a player you want in your squad. But neither of those things were givens in his last two seasons at Man City. There are only six players priced higher than Sterling, who comes in at £10.0m in FPL this season. Each of those players has a pedigree and consistency beyond what he has shown. He may not even be the best midfield option from his own team, since Mount costs £2.0m less and scored more points than Sterling did last season.
But... this is a player who has the talent and experience to flourish under the right circumstances. One has to think there may be a a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and in a new role with something to prove perhaps he’ll be reborn at Chelsea.
Chelsea start away to Everton, then host Spurs. I think we will learn a lot in those two games. He won’t be in my starting XI at the beginning of the season, but I also won’t count him out as a player who can make an impact if things go his way.