Chelsea have been given a brilliant Raheem Sterling message ahead of the new season despite Thomas Tuchel still looking to add to his forward line during the transfer window.
The former Manchester City winger became Todd Boehly’s first male signing as co-owner of the club and provided a statement
name for fans to be excited about as the Blues set about a push on the Premier League’s runaway leaders.
With 109 league goals to his name already, the 27-year-old becomes one of Chelsea’s best and most experienced players and the expectation of immediate success comes with that, but it’s not something to worry about, says John Barnes.
Speaking to BonusCodeBets, the former Liverpool winger said:
“We can expect what we’ve already seen from Sterling. Excitement, quality, it might take him some time to get used to playing for Chelsea, he’s played for Man City for such a long time, he’s used to the way they play.”
Sterling spent seven years in Manchester, winning four league titles during his time but the Englishman grew unhappy with his game time over the past two seasons and his move away from the club has not come as a surprise to Barnes.
“Nothing in football surprises me,” he added. “I think he did well at Man City, he probably wasn’t starting as many games as he would have liked but he’s been one of Man City’s most impressive performers over the years and he’s still very important to Man City.
“Look at it this way, if Mo Salah had gone, I wouldn’t be surprised, [Salah] stayed and I’m not surprised. If Sterling had stayed at Man City I wouldn’t have been surprised and I’m not surprised he’s gone because this is what happens in football. I’d be quite surprised if Kevin De Bruyne had left City but I’m not surprised by Sterling.”
De Bruyne had been surprisingly linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium last summer despite only signing a new long-term deal last season.
Chelsea were able to take advantage of Sterling’s situation, but any interest for De Bruyne has died down as he looks to win three league titles in a row – and Barnes believes Chelsea will be bigger challengers to City and Liverpool this season.
“The teams closest to City and Liverpool are probably Chelsea and Tottenham,” Barnes stated.
“Chelsea have recruited well. Obviously Lukaku is now gone but they’ve brought in Sterling and some good players.
“Tottenham have also brought in some good signings. I think those two will get closer to them [City and Liverpool] than last year although I still think Man City and Liverpool are going to be the top two once again.
“Arsenal will also improve, I still think they’ll be young and inexperienced but I think Chelsea and Tottenham will be up there. For Manchester United the harmony and togetherness is still not right, they have Ronaldo who wants to go and is still there.
Will that upset the balance and harmony, will that upset the group, we don’t know. Manchester United have got to sort the harmony out at that football club as well before they can challenge.”