Chelsea is entering their new era post Roman Abramovich in a position with Todd Boehly at the helm and steering the ship personally towards their target of the Premier League.
Their first signing is only days, maybe even hours, from being announced with another player arriving into Stamford Bridge shortly after. Both those players have called Manchester City their club in recent seasons.
Chelsea hasn’t won the Premier League since Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge when Antonio Conte guided them to a convincing victory; the Spaniard has since dominated the Premier League winning four out of five championships.
So, it is no wonder, Chelsea has sniffed out an integral piece of business to swipe for one of City’s most invaluable players in yesteryear. The past should be shouted loudly, and written in bold, as Haaland, Alvarez, Foden and Grealish fronting the new era that has allowed a shift in player status.
There is enough evidence to prove that Sterling has slipped down the pecking order at City over the last few years, provoking a level of frustration with which he went public last season. That frustration was enough to delay any contract renewal talks, hoping for a move overseas, potentially to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Other targets were more of a priority for the Spanish teams allowing Tuchel to have direct talks to prompt a move back home. Whether that was during any transfer embargo or not, business had to be refreshed and looked elsewhere, particularly after the no-show of Romelu Lukaku.
Raheem Sterling’s minutes declined with a drop of 12% last season, potentially convincing him the future lies elsewhere. It now remains to be seen whether a move back home to London can reignite form similar to the 2017/18 season, where he was integral, scoring 18 and assisting 15 in the Premier League.
That form will turn Chelsea into a significant threat as their right side could be up with the best; Mason Mount pulling strings on right central with Reece James bombing up and down the flank.
We know what Sterling can bring to any top six team but it is Nathan Ake sale that should be considered significant. The defender will certainly plug a large hole left by Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta in the defence.
The Dutch international has never been a regular in the first team, unable to shift Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones consistently, so for City this business is not significant. However, regular action could see Ake become one of signings of the season with high defensive qualities and putting his body on the line trait capable of winning points on his own.
A player certainly entering his prime years with the braided defender capable of being a consistent starter for most teams within the top six, barring City, and maybe Liverpool.
Bringing in a suitable replacement that can fill centre back and the left back will be a tricky acquisition, and business that will require most of the £45million fee received for the former Bournemouth star; a fee too small in my opinion.
Chelsea will certainly be stronger for these two acquisitions, however to say Boehly’s business will make them challenge for the title until Gameday 37 or 38 is unlikely given the gap Liverpool and City have built against their rivals.
A good start, and who knows where they will end up, but these signings represent a greater step away from teams fighting for Champions League with the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United not good enough for a title challenge.
The departures will make the City squad weaker, particularly the quality of Sterling. However, Pep has always prioritised the happiness of the squad and is never going to stand in any players way, so this business makes sense.
We all know Erling Haaland will score that last minute winner against Edouard Mendy at Stamford Bridge, so there is nothing too much to worry about.