2. Raheem Sterling with a point to prove
Chelsea’s poor start to the season was almost exclusively a result of their final third inefficiency. Their xG figures and metrics of the like suggested they were dominating contests, but they simply weren’t finishing their chances.
Raheem Sterling has never been regarded as particularly efficient in front of goal despite his excellent record at Manchester City. In the past three seasons, the winger boasted a higher xG compared to actual goals scored. However, at the start of 2023/24, Sterling has rediscovered his most potent form.
The sample size is small, but Sterling has nonetheless scored three Premier League goals from an xG of 2.4. Imagine where they’d be if Nicolas Jackson knew where the goal was!
Sterling has been Chelsea’s star man at the start of the new season. Buoyed by the arrival of systematic competence, the winger has thrived down the right flank. There’s a spring in his step and his burst has returned. He’s attempting a whopping 6.62 take-ons and 6.34 progressive carries per 90 minutes, with the majority of his metrics matching a level close to his City apex.
While the winger has little to prove to Arteta, Arsenal, or the Premier League audience, his recent omissions from the England squad have seemingly given Sterling the kick up the backside his career needed.
Continued on the next slide…