Chelsea look like changing their tactical setup in attack with the potential signings of Raphinha and Raheem Sterling.
The Blues have agreed a fee with Leeds and just need to negotiate personal terms with Raphinha now, as revealed by Fabrizio Romano in his exclusive CaughtOffside column today.
This makes sense for Chelsea after a disappointing season in 2021/22, when they failed to keep up with rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race due to the poor form of Romelu Lukaku and their other attacking players.
As well as Raphinha, it looks like Man City and England forward Sterling is also a top target for Thomas Tuchel’s side, as per Nicolo Schira in the the tweet below…
Chelsea fans will be excited by the potential of these new attacking players, and former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick discussed the deals with CaughtOffside.
The pundit feels that this move away from playing with an out-and-out number 9 means Tuchel is looking to adjust his tactics and emulate the way City and Liverpool have played in recent years.
“I think Raphinha has been brilliant for Leeds. He’s a hugely gifted player, travels with the ball so well, he’s got pace, skill, and he’ll add something to any top team,” Chadwick said.
“It seems like Tuchel has had a bit of a change of heart in terms of his tactics with his front players. Lukaku was brought in to add a real physical presence and give them the option to play more directly, but it never really worked out.
“If they bring in Raphinha and Raheem Sterling, those are more mobile players who run with the ball and pop up in different positions. Raphinha is a perfect fit for that, and it’s a bit more like how Liverpool and Manchester City have played over the years, without a real out-and-out number 9. It looks like Tuchel is going down that route as well, and I think Raphinha can really excel in that kind of system.
“He can run at players, he’s a goal threat, he can get wide and cross the ball – it gives Chelsea a new dimension. Sterling’s similar, and has played that kind of football for almost his whole career at Man City, so he should adapt quite easily.
“It’s probably a good idea for Chelsea to try to take something from the way that Liverpool and Man City have played, though ironically they’ve now both gone out and spent big money on number 9s this summer.”