Done Deal: Sterling to Chelsea

Raheem Sterling has officially completed his move from Manchester City to Chelsea. Prior to the opening of the transfer window, this would have been an unexpected signing, but here we are.

The transition

Sterling is among the few players to feature for multiple top-10 teams in the Premier League. The English winger played alongside Luiz Suarez for the Reds. He went on to be coached by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, until now, when he has left the club for the Blues. His playing style has evolved and changed immensely under the Spaniard at Manchester City.

The numbers

Sterling has joined Chelsea on a contract that spans upto 2027. The move cost Chelsea £45 million in transfer fees and a further £10 million in add on fees. Raheem Sterling has had remarkable run under Guardiola. He has made the most appearances than any current City player, featuring in 292 games. Moreover, he has scored 120 goals, making him the third-most top goal scorer for the Cityzens during this period. Sterling has made 85 assists making him the third best assist creator under Guardiola for the Cityzens.

The winger has won multiple trophies with Manchester City, these include

  • 4 Premier League Trophies
  • 4 League cups
  • 1 FA cup
  •  2 Community Shields

Raheem Sterling has played for both the Cityzens and Liverpool and will now play for Chelsea. He is among the few players to do so. 

Raheem Sterling has officially completed his move from Manchester City to Chelsea. Prior to the opening of the transfer window,
Sterling dons a Chelsea jersey. Photo Credit: Chelsea FC

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Sterling to Chelsea: who will make room?

Chelsea seem to be building something. They already have quite a remarkable squad depth and appear not to be done yet. With Sterling at Stamford Bridge, who will take the bench? Ziyech is rumored to be working out a transfer from Chelsea already. Pulisic, is there to stay for now. Most probably, Tuchel will pick Sterling over Pulisic at the front three, alongside Havertz and Werner/Mount, if they are to field a 3-4-3. 

Guardiola’s creation

Considering the much praise Sterling had for Guardiola and Guardiola for Sterling, it’s quite a surprise to see him move to Chelsea. Guardiola has transformed Sterling into the player he is today. Will Tuchel be able to make good use of ‘Pep’s creation’?

Thomas Tuchel: An incredible start at Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel took the helm of Chelsea Football Club on 26th January 2021, succeeding Frank Lampard after a poor spell of results. Tuchel is the first German to take charge of the London club. He signed an 18-month contract with the possibility of an extension.

Thomas Tuchel unveiled as Chelsea Manager. (Image: Getty Images)

However, he hit the ground running and ingrained his football philosophy into the Chelsea team within the first few games. He holds the record for the longest unbeaten start in the club’s history, after avoiding defeat in 14 matches. Furthermore, Chelsea have kept 11 clean sheets in that run. This comes after only two goals against them through Antonio Rudiger’s own goal and a brilliant effort from Southampton’s Takumi Minamino.

Tuchel in training with Chelsea. (Image: Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel wins the Barclays Manager of the Month award for March.

After just his second month in charge of the blues, Thomas Tuchel is the Barclays Manager of the Month. He becomes the second German to win the award after Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp. Tuchel has guided Chelsea to victories against Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United in March.

Tuchel with the Barclays Manager of the Month award.

I am really happy to have received this award, and I believe it is a great achievement for everybody at the club who is involved in putting the team together to play each week. The award would not be possible if it weren’t for the hard work of all my coaching staff and the wider support team who all push the team in the same direction, to achieve success.

Thomas Tuchel.

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Not a honeymoon phase.

While many people may be quick to attribute his incredible start to life in the Premier League as some honeymoon phase, that could not be further from the truth. During his 14-match unbeaten run, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea has inflicted defeat on Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Everton and Atletico Madrid twice in the Champions League without conceding any goal.

Keep up to date with the COVID-19 pandemic. What should we expect in the Premier League in this season?

Mason Mount is proving he deserves his place in Chelsea’s starting lineup.

Mason Mount once again had an outstanding performance in a Chelsea shirt last night. Mount was instrumental in the Blues dominating performance against Atletico Madrid. Chelsea won by a goal to nil in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 knockout tie played in Romania. In the Atletico Madrid box, Mason Mount’s high press led to Hermoso’s attempted clearance falling kindly for Giroud. The Frenchman scored a wonder goal, which was his sixth in the 2020/21 Champions League season.

Olivier Giroud bicycle kick goal against Atletico Madrid. (Image: Getty Images)
Olivier Giroud’s bicycle kick goal against Atletico Madrid. (Image: Getty Images)

Mason Mount is starting to prove his critics wrong.

During Frank Lampard’s reign as Chelsea manager, he came under heavy criticism over what some fans and pundits saw as playing favorites. They claimed that Frank Lampard was not selecting the matchday lineups based on players’ form. Much of this criticism involved Mason Mount, one of the first names on the Chelsea team sheet. Mount played almost every game, even as player rotation due to the congested fixtures became the new norm following the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, he made 53 appearances in all competitions under Lampard last season. His critics felt that his return of eight goals and six assists did not justify playing that many games. His run of games continued into this season, making a total of 27 outings. Fitting that one of Lampard’s last actions in charge of the Blues was to name him captain in their 3-1 victory over Luton Town in the FA Cup fourth-round tie.

Mason Mount with former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
Mason Mount with former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.

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New manager, same story.

With Thomas Tuchel taking over as Chelsea manager following Frank Lampard’s sacking, many saw this as the end of Mount’s run of games. And they may have thought they were right when Tuchel named the Cobham graduate on the bench for his first game in charge against Wolves. However, he has featured frequently under the German coach since then. Tuchel had some high praises for him.

I cannot tell you where the limit is, and I don’t want to put a limit on his development. It is obvious he has a lot of potential, he is a great footballer and super nice guy, eager to learn, hungry to win, open-minded, and for that, I think that for him, he can perform for any manager.

Thomas Tuchel
Mason Mount with current Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel
Mason Mount with current Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Alonso remarkable performance as Chelsea win vs Burnley

Marcus Alonso once sidelined, had a prolific performance today against Burnley as he helped Chelsea win the match

The sidelined fullback

Marcus Alonso once sidelined, had a prolific performance today against Burnley as he helped Chelsea win the match. The Spanish fullback had been sidelined from the Chelsea lineup since September for every Premier League match. Was there anything between Lampard and Marcus Alonso?

Frank Lampard occasionally fielded a back four, and once a while a back 3, with two fullbacks, Reece James and Chilwell. When Chelsea played a back four, Alonso would end up not featuring also. His teammates, on the other hand, Azpilicueta, Reece James and Chilwell were preferred to him. It was rumoured that he had a fallout with the then manager Frank Lampard. Of course, Lampard denied such claims on the press.

A clean slate

 This time, it was an Alonso goal. He controlled the ball with his chest, flicking it with his knee then firing straight over Nick Pope's head with his strong foot
Alonso alongside Pulisic celebrating Alonso’s goal vs Burnley. Phot credit: Chelsea FC

Under Thomas Tuchel, former PSG manager, Marcus Alonso has made his first Premier League appearance since last year. Thomas Tuchel in a previous press briefing, stated every player had to fight for his position. It is now clear that Chilwell, Emerson Palmieri, and the thirty-year-old will have to fight for the Left Back/ Left Wing Back (LB/LWB) role.

Thomas Tuchel fielded a 3-4-2-1 formation vs Burnley’s usual 4-4-2 formation. This gave the Spanish fullback a chance to start for Chelsea considering Chilwell had begun in the previous league match for Chelsea.

Chelsea started the game with an early goal from Cesar Azpilicueta. The Blues added another in the dying embers of the game. This time, it was an Alonso goal. He controlled the ball with his chest, flicking it with his knee then firing straight over Nick Pope’s head with his strong foot. The goalkeeper was helpless in this situation. That made it a 2:0 win for the Blues. Quite a notable perfomance by Alonso ensuring Chelsea defeated Burnley. Following this win, Chelsea is now 7th in the Premier League standings. Everton and Aston Villa are following closely with a game in hand.

Marcus Alonso’s stats vs Burnley

  • Goals 1
  • pass accuracy 88.2%
  • Shots on target 1
  • Clearances 3
  • Tackles 1
  • Ground duels won 2
  • Aerial duels won 1
  • Big chances missed 1

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Considering how Chelsea is playing, if Tuchel continually fields a back three formation, the Chelsea fullbacks are bound to get more goals or and assists. Moreso, considering that the first goal was assisted by Hudson Odoi, who was playing at the Right Wing Back (RWB) position.

Marcus Alonso once sidelined, had a prolific performance today against Burnley as he helped Chelsea win the match
Chelsea and Burnley players lining up for a set piece. Chelsea won 2:0. Photo credit: Chelsea FC

Prolific fullbacks

With multiple players to choose from for the Left back /Left Wing back position, let’s see whether Tuchel will keep preferring Alonso over Chilwell and Emerson Palmieri. Who would you pick in the starting line up, Chilwell or Alonso?