According to Sky Sports, Thomas Tuchel is a big admirer of Sterling and believes that he is more suited to Chelsea’s style of play than Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgium centre-forward signed from Inter Milan last season for a whopping £97.5 million fee, however the move hasn’t worked out as planned and it’s probable that he’ll return to Inter this summer through some form of loan arrangement.
That will free up space for Sterling, who has fallen out of favour slightly under Pep Guardiola and potentially isn’t getting the playing time he deserves.
In order for a deal to materialise it’s been reported that Chelsea would need to stump up a figure in the region of £60 million for the 27-year-old England international.
An amount which in today’s inflated market seems like more than a fair price given the quality Sterling possesses.
Although, regardless of the what City might expect, Sky in Italy have suggested that a mere £35 million initial offer will be tabled by the Blues.
What would Sterling bring to Chelsea?
In short, some added attacking quality. Sterling has been a revelation ever since he burst onto the scene at Liverpool as a 17-year-old, but over the past decade, and especially when under the guidance of Guardiola, Sterling has perfected his final product and is now capable of scoring goals for fun.
Last season he bagged 13 league goals despite starting much fewer matches than he previously would have.
In the 2019/2020 season he scored an impressive 20 Premier League goals. And the year before that he also registered a more than respectable 17.
This is significant for Tuchel, as Timo Werner has proven rather unreliable when it comes to hitting the back of net.
The German managed just four successful strikes last campaign. A disappointing return which left far too much responsibility on midfielders and even defenders to chip in with goals.
How could Chelsea line up with Sterling?
So, how would Sterling fit into the Blues’ set-up.
Well, fortunately, he’s a very versatile player and so he could fit in a number of different ways.
3-4-2-1 formation | left-forward
We know Tuchel loves playing with three/five across the back – whatever way you want to view it – and Sterling certainly fits into that structure of play.
As a left-forward, his natural pace combined with his ability to time his runs to perfection would compliment the creativity of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz exceptionally well.
3-4-2-1 formation | deep-lying forward
He could also fit into this system by operating in the Havertz-esque false nine role.
Despite his size, Sterling is deceivingly strong and more than useful when it comes to maintaining possession. Years at the heart of Guardiola’s intricate attacking set-up would stand him in good stead for this role as well.
4-2-3-1 formation | left attacking-midfielder
Some sections of the Chelsea support would like Tuchel to switch to a four at the back system, which could help the team creatively.
In such a system, Sterling would fit in nicely on the left of a trio of attacking midfielders. It’s a role he’s more than familiar with having played there regularly in his formative years at Liverpool.
4-3-3 formation | left-winger
And finally, Sterling could also be deployed as your modern left-winger.
We’ve seen him play in this role countless times for Man City and it’s where he enjoyed his greatest goalscoring seasons in the Premier League.