In Focus: London calling for Raheem as Blues eye City speedster

Khyfer Seahra
LiveScore
Raheem Sterling is heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this summer
Raheem Sterling is heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this summer

Raheem Sterling is reportedly firmly on Chelsea’s radar with the Blues aiming to secure a major transfer coup.

Sterling, 27, has enjoyed seven successful years at Manchester City following his move from Liverpool in 2015, picking up 10 titles at the Etihad.

We take a look at whether this is the right time for City to cash in on their winger and how he could improve Thomas Tuchel's attacking options.

Misfiring Blues

It is believed that a bid of £60million will be enough for the Citizens to allow Sterling to leave this window, and with the Stamford Bridge outfit yet to make a signing under their new Todd Boehly-led ownership, it is expected they will make movements soon.

Chelsea finished third last campaign but their league form fizzled out at the back end of the season, picking up three wins from their last eight, ending 19 points adrift of Pep Guardiola's champions.

The Blues also endured heartbreak in both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals, losing at Wembley to Liverpool on penalties on both occasions.

Midfielder Mason Mount finished as their top Premier League scorer with just 11 goals, followed by strikers Kai Havertz and Romelu Lukaku with eight.

Chelsea scored 23 fewer goals than City, with Lukaku’s £97.5m return not going to plan and fellow forward Timo Werner only managing four league strikes.

Sterling meanwhile struck 13 times in the top flight, taking his overall tally to 109 and reached double figures for the fifth consecutive campaign.

In the English international — who spent seven years in QPR's youth ranks — the West Londoners would have a ready-made option to improve their goalscoring threat.

Raheem Sterling enjoyed another productive season in front of goal last term
Raheem Sterling enjoyed another productive season in front of goal last term

Sterling's value

Despite his consistent output in front of goal throughout his time at the Etihad, Sterling has not been immune from criticism.

His lack of clinical edge has been the biggest complaint of his detractors backed up by the fact he sits fourth in the all-time list for big chances missed in the Premier League (98).

That being said, Sterling's league xG last season was 15.7 — just two goals higher than his actual tally — which suggests he still delivers when called upon more often than not.

Aside from his end product, Sterling’s ability to make clever runs in behind is very problematic for defences and could be a huge asset for Tuchel’s side.

The Jamaica-born forward is usually deployed on the left flank but was utilised on both wings last season, which displays his versatility and will offer Chelsea a brilliant option in an area in which they are depleted.

Wingers Christian Pulisic, 23, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, 21, have both been out of favour and suffered frequent injury setbacks, while Hakim Ziyech, 29, is yet to win over his German boss.

Tuchel typically sets up in variations of a 3-4-3 formation, which will suit Sterling well considering he has operated in the front three of a 4-3-3 under Guardiola.

Raheem Sterling's heat map from last season shows how he was deployed on both flanks
Raheem Sterling's heat map from last season shows how he was deployed on both flanks

Good timing

New recruits Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez will limit Sterling's game time next term, with the significant expenditure on the former meaning the Citizens will be eager to recoup some of their summer outlay.

Riyad Mahrez is another reliable forward option at Guardiola’s disposal, and with the likes of Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva able to fill in out wide, the Catalan coach has plenty of weapons in his armoury.

And although Jack Grealish did not get off to the best of starts after his record-breaking arrival last summer, Guardiola will be keen to make more of his £100m talent in 2022-23.

Sterling's limited opportunity at a club ready to write their next chapter and Chelsea's desire to bolster their ranks means this deal is one that makes sense for all parties.

Tags

Raheem SterlingManchester CityChelseaPremier League
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