Ever since Raheem Sterling broke onto the scene as a 17-year-old kid at Liverpool, huge expectations were placed upon his shoulders. Signed by the Reds from Queen Park Rangers’ academy, the Merseyside club had enormous hopes for the young winger.
Two years later, Sterling became one of Liverpool’s most important players. “‘Something we said to Raheem when he first broke into the team and something we’ve reiterated is that you have to have an identity as a player,” former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said in 2014. “His identity is he has to score goals and create goals – that’s what the job is.”
Rodgers felt Sterling’s job was to score goals. That was never the case, though, at Liverpool. His finishing was erratic, he was very one-footed and he lacked confidence in advanced positions – 23 goals in 129 Liverpool appearances suggest just that.
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However, after completing a £50million move – one that was marred with controversy – to Manchester City, the Jamaican-born England international changed his game. That will undoubtedly have a lot to do with the coaching provided by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
Sterling has become a poacher in front of goal despite being used from the left wing more times than not. The positions he takes up in the box means he can often be seen scoring tap-ins. His game has evolved at Man City – and the 27-year-old has 131 goals in 339 matches for the club.
“I’m probably playing a bit more direct, once I get in the final third I make an action, use instinct,” Sterling said in an interview with The Guardian in 2017. “Before I was a bit more slow, I tried to mix it up. Now I’m just going at it 100%. Before I was trying to be silky. It’s just the way we’re playing under the manager.”
Chelsea are considering a move for Sterling this summer, as football.london has previously reported. The Man City attacker has just over a year remaining on his contract with the Premier League champions and could be offloaded this summer.
The Blues’ attacking players struggled in front of goal last term; Mason Mount finished as the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with 11 to his name. While it’s not guaranteed that if Sterling came in it would automatically mean more goals for Chelsea, adding someone of his experience and calibre would boost the Blues’ front line.
As well as this, his time at Man City means Sterling is more than used to playing against low-block. Chelsea struggled on many occasions last season trying to force a way through a deep defensive line.
Not everyone from a Chelsea point of view is convinced by the prospect of bringing the England international to the capital, though. football.london asked some Chelsea supporters whether Sterling would be a good fit under Thomas Tuchel.
@Blue_Danny_ said: “No. He misses far too many chances for a team that generates so little.”
@TerryHa70875589 said: “He is better than what are attacking players produced last season. Proven world-class player on his day so for the right price it’s a no-brainer.”
@_JustCallMeDawn said: “Can’t be worse than what’s already in place to be honest.”
Let us know in the comment section below: Would Raheem Sterling be a good signing for Chelsea?
Source by Football London