Cesar Azpilicueta massively praised Raheem Sterling for his Chelsea performance in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Chelsea recorded a 1-1 draw at home to Red Bull Salzburg yesterday, which was the first game in charge for the club’s new head coach, Graham Potter.
Sterling, 27, has been one of his side’s best performers in the opening games this season.
He continued his individual form with an excellent goal against Salzburg, collecting the ball just inside the penalty box and finessing the ball into the far corner.
The speedster received a 9/10 match rating in the media for his impactful European display.
Azpiliceuta praised Sterling
Chelsea captain Azpilicueta gave a positive mention in his post-match interview to his teammate:
“Raheem is an amazing player, playing wide and creating one-on-one chances. An amazing goal,” Azpilicueta said.
Sterling’s contribution this week was made even better by the fact he was operating in a different position.
There were a lot of similarities between Thomas Tuchel and how Potter set up his first Chelsea XI, but everyone’s eyes were drawn immediately to one thing. Sterling, who’s enjoyed a superb career so far as an attacker, was on paper playing at left wing-back.
In a game where Chelsea dominated possession, it’s worth mentioning the 27-year-old spent most of the contest hugging the touchline and operating very high up the pitch more as a winger.
It does show his football intelligence and professionalism that he adapted immediately for Potter.
However, Sterling is currently the biggest goal threat at Stamford Bridge and surely can’t have too many defensive responsibilities in games where possession is more even between sides.
Sterling was a great player in an outstanding side at Premier League rivals Manchester City.
However, his move to Chelsea this summer has seen him relied on as the outstanding individual at his new team.
England’s national side must be delighted that Sterling is now a nailed-on starter every game at club level, while still competing and performing on the biggest level.
The way he’s performed since putting on Chelsea colours deserves huge credit, especially given he’s done it with so much distraction around him.