The Blues announced the signing of the English winger on Wednesday.
Chelsea have completed the signing of Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. The England international has joined the London-based club for a fee in the region of £47.5m. He has signed a contract for five years with an option for an extra year with the Blues. Under the new ownership, this is the first major signing and it will likely lead to more incomings.
The 27-year-old leaves Manchester City after seven years at the club. The former Liverpool player won four Premier League titles and multiple other domestic trophies during this time. He is still in his prime and will undoubtedly add more quality to the Blues’ setup. Thomas Tuchel will be rubbing his hands in excitement at the prospect of working with the winger.
Raheem Sterling will be a brilliant asset for Chelsea. He will bring a lot to the table that will be useful for the outfit. Being the manager, it will fall on Tuchel to get the best out of him. Here is a look at five things he must do to utilise Sterling in the upcoming season properly:
Provide more game time
Raheem Sterling was unhappy with the lack of game time at Manchester City. The arrival of Jack Grealish on a record transfer fee of £100m pushed him further down in the pecking order. Pep Guardiola did not favour the winger, choosing players like Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Grealish over him in the lineup.
He started only 23 of City’s 38 league games last campaign and was on the bench for several important fixtures, including both legs of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. It is believed that Sterling agreed to join Chelsea after guarantees of more game time and Tuchel must deliver on this.
Any player that steps into a new setup takes time to find its ground. No matter the quality, it is a possibility that Sterling will need some time to combine with his new teammates. In order to understand the tactics of the new manager and the game style of the Blues, the club must be patient with the winger.
That goes for the fans as well. It is natural to expect a big-money signing to hit the ground running. However, there must be patience when Raheem Sterling steps into a new team, works with new management and finds his rhythm again. Thomas Tuchel must provide him ample opportunities to grow his roots.
Make him the captain
Making Raheem Sterling the club captain would be a very bold move. However, it will give the player a huge confidence boost. It will also be a huge statement of intent from the club and its faith in the winger. Thomas Tuchel needs more leaders in the dressing room and Sterling is the ideal figure to play this role.
Cezar Azpilicueta is on his way out of the club with FC Barcelona looking to sign him. A new club captain will be leading the side for the 2022-23 season. Raheem Sterling could be the perfect player in uniting the team and leading the younger stars by example.
Combine with Reece James
Raheem Sterling can play on either flank but would be most effective on the right wing for Chelsea. He can also play as a support striker in a 3-4-2-1 setup that Tuchel likes to use. One of the key tactics that the manager must utilise is the combination between Sterling and Reece James. The right-back is one of the best full-backs in the league and will make a terrifying pair with Sterling.
The pacy duo could be lethal on the right wing. Since both are English, their understanding would develop immediately. Employing Sterling on the right flank with Timo Werner or Christian Pulisic on the left wing could be an ideal tactic for the manager.
Utilise Premier League experience
Raheem Sterling has 320 appearances in the Premier League already. The winger, in his prime, has incredible experience already. He will bring that experience to a team that desperately needs it. A four-time league winner, Sterling has 109 goals and 77 assists in the competition.
Chelsea will play in multiple tournaments next season, including the UEFA Champions League. They are also aiming to dethrone Manchester City and win the league. Thomas Tuchel should focus on using Sterling in the league while rotating the squad accordingly for other cup competitions.