Raheem Sterling: The career of Chelsea’s marquee signing
Contract Bridge! Raheem Sterling career
Raheem Sterling has joined Chelsea from Manchester City on a five-year deal for a fee believed to be around £47.5million.
Having made his name at Liverpool, Sterling has taken his game to a new level with City and become one of England’s key men as well under Gareth Southgate, but now he is back “home” after moving back to London from the north west.
He told the club’s website: “I’ve obviously achieved a lot in my career so far, but there is still so much more to achieve and I’m really looking forward to doing that in a Chelsea shirt, under Thomas (Tuchel’s) management.”
Here, we look at Sterling’s career to date.
Rise under Guardiola
Sterling’s move across the north west came a year before Pep Guardiola’s appointment as City manager, and his goal record has improved remarkably in the years since.
Having scored 11 goals and then 10 in all competitions in his first two City seasons, matching his final two campaigns at Anfield, he then scored 23 in 46 games in 2017-18 – matching his tally in his full 126 appearances for Liverpool.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 13, 2022
Impressively, he then bettered that total with 25 the following season and two new landmarks of significance in 2019-20, reaching 20 goals in the league and 30 in all competitions for the first and so far only time in his career.
In all, he has 131 goals in 323 City appearances – including the league, domestic cups, Europe and his goalscoring appearance in the 2019 Community Shield. That ratio of a goal every 2.5 games contrasts markedly with one every 5.5 games for the Reds early in his career.
Time to move on?
Despite that overall comparison, the past two seasons have seen something of a decline in Sterling’s production since his 2019-20 peak.
He has still reached double figures in the league each season, scoring 14 goals in all competitions in 2020-21 and 17 last season, but has not been the same key figure as in the three years prior to that.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 13, 2022
Seven of last season’s 30 league appearances came as a substitute, the most since his debut season at City, while he had five assists after seven the previous campaign.
While that was a rise from just one in his most prolific goalscoring season in 2019-20, he had hit double figures for both goals and assists in the two years before that. He has 56 Premier League assists in total, 42 of them since joining
Having scored only two goals in his first 44 senior international caps, up to and including the 2018 World Cup, Sterling has since become an integral figure.
In just 33 England appearances spanning the last four club seasons, Sterling has scored 17 goals – behind only captain Harry Kane in that time.
He got eight in qualifying for Euro 2020, including a hat-trick against the Czech Republic and a brace in Bulgaria. He then scored England’s first three goals at the tournament proper before Kane began to take centre stage.
His 50 caps under Southgate’s management also rank him second behind Kane on 56 while Sterling has deputised as captain on four occasions, including against the Ivory Coast and Italy in two of their last four fixtures.
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