Chelsea could finally be trying to sign their Eden Hazard replacement if reports are true - TCC View

It’s being reported that Chelsea are keen on a move for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.

The England international has been rumoured to want to leave the Etihad this summer, and the Telegraph claim that the Blues are the most likely English destination for the 27-year-old.

Chelsea have been widely documented to be in the market for attacking talent this summer, as the future of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic are rumoured to hang in the balance.

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

However, a player of the quality of Sterling is something the club has been lacking since the sale of club legend Eden Hazard in 2019, and an opportunity to sign him should be pounced on by those at the club.

Hazard frequently topped the scoring charts for the Blues, contributing double the amount of goals of any teammate in the league in his final season, with nearly three times as many assists in the competition.

Chelsea’s current crop of wingers haven’t even got close to the output Hazard provided, with Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi combining for less goals in the league last season than the 16 Hazard reached in 2018/19.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – MAY 29: Eden Hazard (C) of Chelsea in action Sokratis Papastathopoulos (5) of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League final between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 29 May 2019. (Photo by Resul Rehimov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

While the Belgian is an extremely difficult man to replace, it feels like the Blues underrated just how much end product they were losing with his exit.

Sterling has never been given the credit he deserves. England fans would rather not think about how Euro 2020 would have gone without his three goals in the tournament, the Three Lions’ first three of the tournament.

Since the 17/18 campaign, the winger has never contributed less than 10 goals a season in the league, breaking the 20 mark just two seasons ago.

However, it’s Sterling’s ability to create an opportunity when the game appears to have stopped dead which is the feature of his game most reminiscent of newly crowned Champion of Europe Hazard.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The most recent example of this occurred on the biggest stage of the season. When seemingly out of ideas and 2-0 down in the title decider against Aston Villa, the England international brought the game to a standstill before accelerating past Lucas Digne and floating a brilliant cross straight onto Ilkay Gundogan’s head to begin the comeback.

In a team which boasts attacking talent like Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish, it’s very easy to not be the main man. That was seen by the latter’s underwhelming first season in Manchester.

But Sterling’s consistency to contribute despite immense quality surrounding him has been on display for years now, and if rumours are true that he’s looking for a new home, Chelsea should be aborting all other plans and signing him to address the issues at the top of the pitch immediately.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.