Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Chelsea can reignite their season by unleashing Raheem Sterling

For Chelsea manager Graham Potter, the return to competitive action cannot come soon enough; in the weeks preceding the World Cup in Qatar, the Blues suffered the chastening ignominy of losing four fixtures out of five across all competitions.

Languishing in ninth place after the resumption of Premier League action on Boxing Day, Chelsea are in dire need of a clean slate after the seasonal pause, with the unthinkable prospect of missing out on Champions League football next term in danger of becoming a more concrete possibility with each passing match week.

Later today, Stamford Bridge will welcome newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth, who have admirably cast the cobwebs aside following the early-season managerial dismissal of Scott Parker aside and the hapless 9-0 loss at the hands of Liverpool to perch in 14th place after 15 matches.

An unlikely result for the Cherries would spark incensed concerns in west London, an event that simply cannot arise, and Potter will demand a convincing performance to partner a timely victory to kickstart a flagging season.

Unleash Sterling

One offensive whiz that the Blues’ former Brighton & Hove Albion manager has at his disposal is the perennial Raheem Sterling, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from league champions Manchester City in the summer for a reported £47.5m.

His time, and more precisely form, at the club has somewhat fluctuated, with five goals and two assists from 19 appearances – Sterling scored three times and one assist from his first five league appearances, and has since blanked across his past seven outings.

1 of 14
Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea

How much did Chelsea pay to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, 2014?

Regardless, his quality remains unquestionable, and when the cogs fall into place he can become a devastating force once more, with his 131 goals and 95 assists over 339 displays for Man City illustrating his presence among the division’s elite forward-minded players.

Couple that with an illustrious list of major honours: Sterling won four Premier League trophies, five League Cups and one FA Cup during his career with the Sky Blues.

Bournemouth will attempt to be resilient in their efforts, but Sterling could unravel their fortifications with his blistering pace and direct approach; as per FBref, the 28-year-old ranks within the top 11% for positionally similar players in Europe’s best five leagues for touches in the attacking area and the top 16% for progressive passes received.

With Chelsea’s centre-forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 33 years old and yielding only three goals from 13 appearances for the club since his summer move from FC Barcelona, Sterling must grasp the opportunity and adopt the role as the team’s talisman, reminding the world of his supreme ability and impact he can have for side’s chasing success of the very highest level.

England manager Gareth Southgate once hailed Sterling as a “fighter“, words that can evoke confidence among the Chelsea ranks amid a situation that needs rectifying; the 82-cap international must step up to the plate, and send the ship flying to brighter horizons.