Raheem Sterling sends Graham Potter positional message amid Chelsea wingback frustration

Raheem Sterling has admitted that he feels he isn’t being used in his best position after a series of experiments by Graham Potter. The £45m summer signing was one of Thomas Tuchel’s statement buys and started life at Chelsea well amid a chaotic opening month under the German. Sterling scored three times in the first six league games and was the most consistent of all the attacking options.Information Guide Nigeria

Since then, Sterling has only scored one more goal and is without a strike in his last nine under Potter. The new manager got a tune out of the England star in his first match – a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg that he played as a makeshift wingback – but has since struggled to replicate the same threat.

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The only solace for Potter is that Mason Mount and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had taken up the mantle but two draws to Brentford and Manchester United followed by the 4-1 loss away to Brighton has stifled some of the early optimism.

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Against the Seagulls, Sterling put in one of his worst showings in a blue shirt so far and was slammed for his output by former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin, who claimed that on current form he shouldn’t be in contention for an England position either.JAMB Result

The drop has somewhat coincided with being used in a new position as Potter attempts to balance his side with extra attacking threat following the absence of Reece James, but Sterling isn’t a wingback and it’s showing. When asked about Potter’s introduction, the 27-year-old said, “It is like anything, you come to a new team, there is different things going to be asked of you.”

Speaking on the Kelly and Wrighty show, he added, “It is a completely diffident shape. I haven’t played in a back five for a while but it is something the manager has asked me to do and it is something I am more than happy to do. “When we have got the ball, I am high and wide but of course you have to defend. But the more I’m next to the box, the better I am for myself. But the more time I have to figure it out in this position, I am more than happy to play it.”

Sterling had scored 109 league goals before joining Chelsea and most of those had come from an orthodox wing position, mainly on the left side in a 4-3-3 at Manchester City, but he has rarely been used there for his new side.

Under Tuchel he was an inside No.10 or even false nine, with Potter it has been a similar story and even when given no defensive responsibilities on the flanks, he has struggled to get involved in the game or make an impact.

“I feel my best position is a winger, that’s for sure,” he admitted. “But the manager has his way of playing and he’s not had a full preseason with us, he was dropped in the middle of a storm, really. He has grabbed it with both hands and he is trying to figure out the best personnel for positions. I keep saying, with time it will all gel nicely.”

Sterling is expected to be rested for Chelsea’s game against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League tonight (Wednesday), with nothing riding on the game for the Blues ahead of a key Premier League London derby clash against Arsenal on Sunday.

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