EPL

Tuchel: Sterling can shape Chelsea by just being who he is

By Sports Desk July 14, 2022

Thomas Tuchel says Raheem Sterling is a "huge asset" for Chelsea and hopes the forward can shape the team "by just being who he is".

Chelsea confirmed the signing of Sterling from Premier League rivals Manchester City on Wednesday in a deal reported to be in the region of £45million.

Sterling arrives with plenty of pedigree, having won 10 major honours across seven seasons with City, whom he joined after a three-year spell as a Liverpool first-team regular.

He is the first signing of the Todd Boehly era, and Tuchel has high hopes for the 77-cap England international at Stamford Bridge.

"Hopefully he shapes our team by just being who he is," Tuchel told BBC Sport. "He will be a huge asset for us.

"He's a huge player, with a huge influence in the last years in English football and is at a perfect age to now take responsibility around young players we have and be an example.

"Getting what he delivered for years given his age, his hunger for responsibility, and his style of play and his amount of intensity is outstanding.

"It is the benchmark in the Premier League and is exactly what we need."

Sterling, who had just one year remaining on his contract at the Etihad Stadium, has signed a five-year deal with Chelsea.

The 27-year-old scored 17 goals for City in all competitions last season, a tally bettered only by Riyad Mahrez (24) and Kevin De Bruyne (19).

Chelsea's transfer business is unlikely to stop there, with Kalidou Koulibaly and the club's former defender Nathan Ake both expected to join before the window closes.

And Tuchel, who saw his side lose to Liverpool in both domestic cup finals last season, is having a bigger say in transfer activity under the club's new American owners.

"The relationship [with the owners] is very intense, very close, which it has to be," he said from Chelsea's pre-season training base in Los Angeles.

"Without Petr [Cech] and without Marina [Granovskaia], it's a big change in the daily structure and communication. I'm a lot more involved. 

"I have to step up in terms of responsibility. I think in the long term or even when the close of the pre-season comes, I will want to be more on the coaching role again.

"But right now it's important to improve our team, to bring players in to stay competitive because we want to compete for a minimum of top four. 

"Given the fact that Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United act on the transfer market for weeks and months, we need to be smart, we need to be fast and we need to find solutions. It's my job to help."

Chelsea face Mexican side Club America in their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday, before taking on Charlotte FC, Arsenal and Udinese.

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