Thomas Tuchel has discussed his intentions for the forthcoming season with Raheem Sterling, including how the England international would be engaged. It’s no surprise that Tuchel’s ambitions wowed Sterling. Both sides have now agreed on personal conditions, and Chelsea and Manchester City must now finalize a contract.
The benefit of the transfer window is that it allows for speculation. What intentions does Tuchel have for Raheem Sterling? Why is it him? What does this entail for the squad’s other attackers? Chelsea supporters like me are eager to find out the answers to these questions. It’s a mystery until the Blues play in the Premier League for the first time, but I have a fair notion of what the manager may be cooking up.
Chelsea’s future will almost certainly include a formation change as well as a personnel overhaul. With Romelu Lukaku’s loan return to Inter Milan secured, he might be the first of many to go. Chelsea’s packed rota means there isn’t enough place for attackers, therefore we should anticipate some exits. Finally, Tuchel is likely to go for the big prize.
Since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival in 2021, the Blues have used a 3-4-3 formation. Chelsea has won the Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup, and reached two domestic finals since the configuration change. Not bad for 18 months of effort.
This formation’s long-term viability is questionable. In the 2017/18 season, fans saw the downfall of Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 mastery. The system just does not provide much attacking flexibility. The movement between the attackers may be exciting at times, but it might be better.
Tuchel may be considering a tactical shift based on his transfer goals, according to The Athletic. Sterling, in particular, shines off either flank but can also play up front, where his clinical talent in front of goal comes into play. Chelsea played 4-3-3 and 4-2-2-2 formations on a few occasions last season, which opened them another creative dimension in front of the goal. It was also heartening to watch Hakim Ziyech flourish in these formations with ease.
A four-man defense would most likely allow for a more fluid attack, with Mason Mount playing in a deeper 8 position and Conor Gallagher as another midfield option. Thomas Tuchel must choose the ideal trio to play in front of them. We can only assume Sterling will be the key contributor if he is comfortable with Tuchel’s future intentions, but the Chelsea manager has failed to find consistency in his current crop of attackers.
Chelsea’s offensive often changes people. Last season, the best three attackers were not evident, and it will be up to the coach to sort this out and maybe make some difficult choices. Callum Hudson-Odoi has admirers in the Premier League and the Bundesliga, while Ziyech is linked with a transfer to AC Milan. With Sterling’s arrival, it will be tough to keep every single attacker satisfied with their game time. Tuchel, how will you handle this?
Finally, it is evident that Chelsea is prepared to challenge for the Premier League title. As satisfying as it was to win the Champions League, it wasn’t ideal for the Blues to stumble early in their championship defense last season. Sterling has won the Premier League four times and understands what it takes to win the highest trophy in domestic football. Surely, he wants to keep that run going, and Tuchel may have a strategy in place to assist him to do so.