After moving closer to acquiring Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, Chelsea may have discovered the answer to their offensive difficulties.
Following Romelu Lukaku’s departure, the 27-year-old would improve their scoring options and has agreed to personal terms ahead of a £55 million transfer.
Although Sterling has played wide for the duration of his career, Thomas Tuchel may use the England international as a false nine owing to his goal-scoring prowess.
Since there aren’t many truly world-class number nines on the market, Chelsea made the wise decision to boost their frontline by signing a dynamic attacker with a track record in the Premier League.
How does Sterling stack up against the other Chelsea offensive options?
Sterling scored 13 Premier League goals last season, which is more than any Chelsea player has done over the previous two seasons in terms of pure goal production.
While Lukaku was Chelsea’s top finisher last season with 18.6 percent, Sterling is sometimes seen as a wasteful finisher and yet his conversion percentage was among the highest in the league at 22.8 percent.
Despite scoring less goals over the last several seasons, Sterling’s finishing has actually improved, and last year, he had a ‘big chance conversion’ percentage of 48 percent.
The former Liverpool star has benefited from City’s fluid offensive style, but he still recorded the fifth-most touches of any Premier League player since 2016 and more touches in the opposing box than any Chelsea attacker.
Importantly, Sterling works hard off the ball, creating more opportunities than Lukaku, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Christian Pulisic while also finishing more often and effectively.
His colleagues from England, Mason Mount and Reece James, who have both assisted Sterling in scoring 15 goals in his previous 30 international appearances, would be joined by him at Chelsea if he were to sign there.
Tuchel made the right choice in signing Sterling because of his versatility across the front line and ability to make a meaningful contribution in all areas of the game.
While he may have initially been seen as a hit-or-miss goal scorer who benefited from City’s high-intensity assault, his growth into a dependable game-changer would elevate Chelsea’s offensive to a new level of excellence.
✅ More goals
✅ More assists
✅ More chances created
Raheem Sterling scored more goals, created more chances and assisted more in the Premier League last season than his potential predecessor, Romelu Lukaku. 📈 pic.twitter.com/wriYnJASIs
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 7, 2022