Football News

Pep Guardiola’s second-most productive protégé ever? Raheem Sterling confirms Chelsea transfer from Man City

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 12:11, 13 July 2022

Raheem Sterling has confirmed his Chelsea transfer move from Manchester City, a deal reportedly worth £45m.

The Englishman, 27, will become Todd Boehly’s first signing as Blues owner and ends a seven-year association with Man City, where he lifted four Premier League titles.

Sterling, who endured the wrath of Liverpool fans upon leaving the Reds, went on to make 339 appearances in all competitions for the Citizens, scoring 131 goals.

He wrote: “Seven seasons, eleven major trophies, a lifetime of memories […] I arrived in Manchester a 20-year-old. I leave as a man.”

A highly-thought-of winger during his youth career, the former Queens Park Rangers academy star showed glimpses in Merseyside but truly reached world-class level under Pep Guardiola’s guidance.

Sterling, who has played more games for Guardiola than any other player in his managerial career, would score 120 goals and provide a further 85 assists. In fact, only Sergio Aguero (124) scored more for City with Guardiola at the helm and only Kevin De Bruyne (107) created more.

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And when you combine the two, no player has been involved in more Man City goals than Sterling (205) during Guardiola’s reign. As for the wider picture, only Lionel Messi has been directly involved in more goals for Guardiola (the six-time Ballon d’Or winner scored 211 goals and produced 94 assists).

Sterling has also reached double figures for goals in each of the past five Premier League seasons and would have finished as Chelsea’s top scorer during those individual campaigns.

Interestingly, his final season at Anfield saw him share the dressing room with Glen Johnson, the first signing of Chelsea’s previous administration. This will be seen as a statement signing as Sterling moves from the champions to a Big Six rival. Last season the Londoners finished in third but 19 points behind Guardiola’s men. Although they were the Premier League’s third most prolific side, Chelsea scored 23 fewer than Man City who bagged 99 goals to end their successful 2021/22 campaign.

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Sterling will join up with his new teammates on pre-season in LA. Chelsea play a pair of FS Series Clash of Nations games against Club América on July 16 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on July 20 before a Florida Cup clash with Arsenal at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on July 23.

Chelsea’s 2022/23 programme gets underway on August 6 when they face a Frank Lampard led Everton at Goodison Park before hosting top-six rival Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.