Thomas Tuchel issued clear Raheem Sterling warning amid Chelsea transfer links

Paul Merson has questioned whether Raheem Sterling would be able to replicate the form he shows at Manchester City in a Chelsea shirt. The 27-year-old has been linked with a surprise move to the Blues in recent days, with his contract at the Etihad Stadium having just over 12 months left to run.

Chelsea are in the market for another attacker this summer with Thomas Tuchel wanting to add more firepower to his squad. As well as this, the Blues have the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic, who are all being linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge.

Merson, who was writing in his Daily Star column, has been talking about Chelsea’s attacking situation and the former Arsenal midfielder referenced the Blues’ recent links to Sterling. He thinks, though, that Sterling probably suits Manchester City’s attacking style more than Chelsea’s.

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“They need at least a couple of defenders because Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are leaving, and they might not be the only ones leaving either,” Merson said. “But they are stuck with Romelu Lukaku.

“They won’t be able to sell him without making a loss, and who could they get to replace him? Top-class center forwards are scarce. They might go for Raheem Sterling but he plays the Manchester City way.

“I do not think Raheem Sterling scores 20 goals a season for Chelsea. He likes to arrive late in the box at the far post for a tap-in. There’s an art to that. But I do not see that ball getting whipped across the box like that too often at Chelsea, so where does he get his goals from?

“I still do not think Thomas Tuchel knows his best line-up if I’m being honest. He has too many options but not enough of his forwards have done the business this season. There’s no consistency at Chelsea. That does not help either because you can not build up an understanding with the players around you.

“That’s Lukaku’s problem as well. Granted, I do not think he works hard enough. But he hasn’t had the same players around him week in week out either. They chop and change. The mentality has to change as well because when they are on it, they are no different to Manchester City and Liverpool.

“They did better against the top six clubs than Liverpool this season. And Liverpool could not beat them in two cup finals. But Liverpool put the lesser teams away, and Chelsea lost 4-1 at home to Brentford.

“They needed a last-minute goal to beat Watford at Stamford Bridge. That tells you the mentality is not right – and there isn’t a whole lot the new owners can do about that.”

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has made no secret of his desire for Sterling to stay with the newly-crowned Premier League champions, but in February, he admitted it was out of his hands. He said: “In the future? I do not know what will happen.

“The club decides. When the club extends contracts, I give my opinion, but the club takes the decision. Always.”

Sterling himself, rather tellingly, admitted last year that he may need to move on from City in order to get more regular game time. Speaking at the FT Business of Sport US summit, Sterling said: “If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else, [for more game time]I would be open to it at this moment in time.

“As I said, football is the most important thing to me – challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well, to play abroad. As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I have always had something down (in me) that maybe one day I would love to play abroad to see how I would come up against that challenge. I get on with my work, do what I need to do. And I’m just raring to go – playing football matches regularly, score goals regularly.

“From being a young child, football has been the most important thing in my life, my most happiest I should say. If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself . “

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