Is Raheem Sterling’s time at Stamford Bridge nearly up?
Is Raheem Sterling’s time at Stamford Bridge nearly up? The Blues forward was only drafted in at the start of the season from Manchester City. But his failure to make a big impact at the Bridge could mean that the Blues are ready to cut their losses on the England forward. The two parties may be about to sever their ties, as is suggested by some football betting sites. Transfer odds surrounding Sterling have been active recently.
That’s on the back of rumours that the club are willing to listen to offers for a player that they have had on their books for less than a season. Is this all speculation? Should the Blues let him go?
Chelsea’s Money a Problem for Sterling
Chelsea’s demise this season, not looking anything like a Top Four team in the Premier League has set the transfer rumour mill going. Is Raheem Sterling collateral that the Blues don’t need around the squad any longer?
Sterling was a marquee signing in the summer of 2022 for new club owner Todd Boehly. The Blues paid £47.5 million to Manchester City for the forward. But the big impact that he was expected to bring, just never unfolded.
Sterling produced a thirty-goal season for the Citizens in the 2019/20 season. But he looks a long way short of being able to deliver anything like that in the current Stamford Bridge setup. The fact that Chelsea have money to spend, could mean that Sterling is on the outs.
Money to Fix Problems?
It could be argued that all the injury problems that have counted towards the slump of Chelsea this season, hasn't given Sterling a fair crack of the whip at the Bridge. But at the beginning of the season, the first under head coach Graham Potter, Sterling was a permanent fixture of the Blues' starting eleven. The final output just wasn’t coming from him. At the end of 2022, Sterling in his first half of a season for the Blues, had scored just four goals in fifteen Premier League appearances. It’s nowhere near the return that he was expected to bring.
Chelsea are expected to throw more money at trying to solve their current issues. The biggest of those issues has been a lack of attacking threat. That was highlighted when they fought so hard to bring in Pierre Emerick Aubameyang last summer as a stop-gap fix. It was another piece of transfer business that just hasn’t worked out.
Chelsea Moving On?
The outrageously expensive loan deal that Chelsea made in January to bring Joao Felix over from Atlético Madrid, hinted that Chelsea are ready to move forward and count their losses on the likes of Sterling, Aubameyang and Kai Havertz.
The Chelsea attacking ranks need a massive overhaul. They fought off London rivals to capture the signing of Ukraine youngster Mykhailo Mudryk in January and also Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez. They have also been linked with a lot of other players in January.
There’s PSV winger Noni Madueke and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo whom Chelsea are still rumoured to be targeting. That’s just heaping massive pressure on the forwards that they have in their squad at the moment.
When all is said and done there is a feeling that the Todd Boehly era really hasn’t started at Chelsea. Those summer signings in 2022 were just a way of trying to ingratiate himself with the Chelsea fans by grabbing what he could to make any kind of statement of intent. None of it has worked out.
Time Is a Great Teacher
Now with time under his belt in the hot seat, and Boehly apparently willing to keep faith with boss Graham Potter for the rebuild, the panic buying should be over. More concentrated, targeted and well-planned transfer targets are likely to happen.
There is a fair chunk of the current Chelsea squad that just hasn’t looked good enough to propel the Blues back up into the mix for a run at a Top Four finish this season. This season may well end up being a wash ending in a clear-out.
next season, the Blues could get back to a good place. The second half of the season is a great opportunity for rebuilding a new team, including getting some of their youth more time on the pitch. Then in the summer, it may be just one or two big marquee signings that they would need to make. The rest of the 2022/23 season may not be about the 2022/23 season. It may be about what is to come in the following campaign. Raheem Sterling may not be part of that picture.