Chelsea are no strangers to spending big in the transfer market, be that in relative terms, such as in 2003 — Roman Abramovich spent a little over £100m that first summer, on 10 major signings, which would translate to about £400m in today’s money based on inflation alone, let alone factoring in transfer market inflation — or in absolute terms, such as making Kepa Arrizabalaga the most expensive goalkeeper in history or making Romelu Lukaku the first nine-figure signing in club history.
Abramovich may be gone, but the new owners have not been wallet-shy either; quite the opposite in fact, with three £30m+ signings (and counting) and a total spend of well over £150m already. The landscape has changed drastically in the last 20 years of course — seven other teams have spent at least £75m so far this summer — but it does speak to the continuing level of ambition and success that’s expected at Stamford Bridge.
One of those new arrivals, Raheem Sterling from defending champions Manchester City, is more than excited to be a key figure in helping to achieve those (literal and figurative) goals.
“My feeling was I needed to keep at the same level, and a fresh challenge was needed. [At] the peak time in my career, not to be playing regularly was something I wouldn’t accept. My personality is to try to fight and change the scenario, but it didn’t come, and that was it.”
“[Chelsea] was more tailormade for my personal goals. For my family, it makes a lot of sense, and with the direction, the club is going in [...] a team that is competing and is only going to get better. So for me, with the new ownership and takeover, it made a lot of sense.”
“[...] It’s a perfect time to have a new challenge [and] I am really optimistic being in the building, seeing how the guys work, and how passionate the manager is. [...] I always set myself goals so I know what I want to achieve personally and what I want to achieve with the football club, which is most important.”
As much as we hope that Sterling can inject that bit of directness and cutting edge that has been missing, he also brings a ton of experience to the table. And along those lines, he is looking to take on a leadership role as well, as one of the older members of the team, especially among attacking players.
“I’m excited by the opportunity. I’ve been given this chance to come and showcase my talents, and it’s one, having grown up a bit in terms of off the field and inside the changing room and around the club, it’s a developing side of me I want to see more. I want to be more involved in dressing-room decisions, being more vocal and trying to drive the team on.”
-Raheem Sterling; source: Football.London
Sterling had a pretty good debut last weekend in our 1-0 win at Goodison, but all eyes will be on him on Sunday when we take on Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. There could be no better way to quickly endear himself to the masses than by a goal or seven against Spurs.