It was a very stressful wait but finally, we have our first Chelsea signing of the Todd Boehly Era: Raheem Sterling. This will be a crucial factor if Chelsea are to rise up to become Premier League title contenders. Raheem Sterling fits the club’s needs, provides big-game experience, and weakens our rivals, making him a potentially great Chelsea signing.
Why this is an Outstanding Chelsea Signing
Let’s take a look at what Raheem Sterling brings to the club and why this was a very smart Chelsea signing.
Throughout the last three seasons (since Eden Hazard left) one of the biggest complaints about Chelsea was the lack of creativity which led to a lot of dull performances and poor results. Sterling can help fix this problem as he provided 3.81 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, which was 15th in the league and he has averaged 4.05 per 90 over the last five seasons. His assist totals have also been outstanding as he is fifth among active Premier League players in assists and only Christian Eriksen and Kevin De Bruyne have played fewer career games among those ahead of him. Sterling is the ONLY active Premier League player with eight seasons of six or more assists.
Can Score Goals
Chelsea have also had issues scoring goals which is in part due to a lack of clinical finishing and consistent play. Sterling has scored 78 goals in the last five seasons including reaching the hallowed 20 league goal milestone in the 19-20 season (Diego Costa was the last Chelsea player to do this in 16-17 (the last time the club won the league). He had 0.55 goals per 90 last season, which is exactly his average over the last five seasons. He is also one of just six Premier League players to score 10+ goals in the previous five seasons and he is one of just six Premier League players to do so (and Sadio Mane is gone so five active).
Taking from a Rival
I know City signed Erling Haaland so Raheem Sterling likely wouldn’t start that many games but this move does take away some of their depth which has been crucial to them winning four of the last five titles. By the way, only Messi has more Goals+Assists for Pep than Sterling so he could still have played a big part. The newest Chelsea signing was also rumored to be the replacement for Sadio Mane which means that us getting him has weakened Liverpool (who bested Chelsea in two cup finals this past season) as well.
Big Game Experience
Raheem Sterling has played in many huge games over his career. He has played in the last couple games of the season in three different down to the wire title races (last season he had three goals and three assists in his last three games to help win the league), four League Cup Finals, an FA Cup Final (where he scored twice), a Champions League Final, played in five major tournaments (including a World Cup Semifinal and the Euro 2020 Final).
45 million pounds is a very solid price for an attacker with over 100 Premier League goals and 50 Premier League Assists by the age of 27. Richarlison was signed by Spurs earlier this summer for 60 million pounds despite having nowhere near the goal totals, assist totals, or advanced stats while being 25 years old. Richarlison also has never played in European competitions and only has 36 international caps vs 77 for Sterling.
Not a Short Term Buy
Despite an already very accomplished career, Raheem Sterling is just 27 years old and likely has several very good seasons at the top level. The newest Chelsea signing is extremely durable as well as he is the ONLY player (not just outfield player) to have played at least 30 Premier League games in each of the past nine seasons and the club had just four players who played 30 Premier League games last season (Rudiger is gone, Mendy is a goalkeeper, and Silva is 38).
Raheem Sterling is the kind of player that can easily add five points per season to a teams total and is a fantastic Chelseas signing. With him in the fold, Sterling should take Chelsea from about 70-75 points to about 75-80, which would make any improvements unrelated to Sterling (future signings, young players improving, more luck) boosting us to possibly become title contenders (especially if City and/or Liverpool have an injury crisis).
Let us know how you feel about the newest Chelsea signing in the comments below!
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