Ian Wright thinks Raheem Sterling “can’t be happy” with Graham Potter’s decision to play him as a wing-back after his lucrative summer move.
Sterling was Chelsea’s third most-expensive signing this summer. They shelled out around £50million for the former Manchester City attacker.
Only Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella cost the Stamford Bridge outfit more.
Sterling joined the club off the back of a phenomenal City career. Indeed, he had just scored 13 league goals in a season in which he won his fourth Premier League title.
Overall, during his time with City, the forward bagged 131 goals, as well as registering 95 assists. He had previously had a good spell at Liverpool, where he contributed to 48 goals.
On the list of all-time top goalscorers in the Premier League, Sterling is placed 23rd, with 112.
As such, it is something of a surprise that Sterling has played as a wing-back on a few occasions for Chelsea. Indeed, the winger has done so in both the Premier League and Champions League.
It’s certainly strange that such a competent attacker would be moved into a more reserved role. He had hit the ground running at Chelsea, too.
Sterling scored three goals and registered an assist all in his first five games as a Blues player.
However, since Potter took charge, opportunities to get his name on the scoresheet have been more limited.
Potter decision tactically confusing
Former Premier League striker Wright does not understand Potter’s decision to play Sterling as a wing-back. The pundit feels it is a strange decision from a tactical point of view.
“It’s one of the confusing things what Graham Potter is doing at the moment, I can’t get my head around it,” he said, quoted by Metro.
“When I did the analysis on the game [Chelsea’s defeat to Brighton], the full-back area, Brighton just absolutely tore them to shreds because you’ve got Pulisic and Sterling who are supposedly meant to come and try to help Chalobah and Cucurella.
“It wasn’t happening and I couldn’t understand it.”
It’s certainly difficult to understand why Potter has decided to play Sterling out of position. He has been a potent attacker for much of his career, so surely his talents are best utilised in an attacking role.
Wright expects Sterling to be angry
Wright also thinks that Sterling will be angry at playing in his current role.
“There’s no way he can be happy playing that role, especially when you look at what he’s done at City, and the team he was playing in, everything was really concentrated on offence for him,” he said.
“It must be really strange and tough for him to go to a new club and have to play in a position like that. I hope they can sort that out soon for him.”
Of course, there is a good deal of attacking talent in the Chelsea ranks. That somewhat explains why Sterling is not being afforded opportunities at the top of the pitch.
However, it would surely not be a bad thing to have such an accomplished attacker playing there.