We 'signed' forwards Raphinha and Raheem Sterling for Chelsea with stunning results


Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Leeds United winger Raphinha, with the Blues also targeting a move for Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling this summer.

 football.london understands the Blues were expected to launch an official offer to Manchester City for Sterling – with both clubs hopeful of striking a deal this summer.

A £65million deal has been agreed with Leeds for the signing of Raphinha, who is open to moving to Stamford Bridge, but personal terms, which aren't expected to be an issue, still need to be negotiated.

Thomas Tuchel and new owner Todd Boehly are leading the transfer business this summer with Boehly handling a number of negotiations personally, including the exit of Romelu Lukaku on loan back to Inter Milan.

Chelsea are in need of reinforcements in defence, but attack seems to be the first priority of the summer if the Blues are going to compete with Man City and Liverpool next season.

So, if Raphinha and Sterling were to make the move to Stamford Bridge in the summer, what sort of impact could they have on Tuchel's side? Could they help the Blues win the Premier League ahead of City and Liverpool?

We 'signed' Raphinha and Raheem Sterling for Chelsea

We simulated the 2022/23 season with Raphinha and Sterling in the Blues' squad and this is what happened. To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Raphinha and Sterling to join Chelsea at the start of the summer transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation.

Sterling and Raphinha slotted straight into the Blues' attack, supporting Kai Havertz at centre- forward with a midfield partnership of Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante behind the front three.

The England international was able to finish the 2022/23 campaign as the club's top scorer in all competitions with 18 goals, as well as registering 12 assists, showing his ability to score and create goals.

Chelsea's attacking options rotated between Havertz, Sterling, Raphinha, Mason Mount and Timo Werner, with all five players tallying a combined 69 goals in all competitions.

Raphinha made a total of 34 appearances in his debut season, scoring 15 goals and assisting four from just 24 starts under Tuchel as the German boss rotated his attacking line-up.

Raphinha almost doubled his expected goals (8.94 xG) value in terms of his goalscoring output, highlighting the Brazilian's improvement in front of goal after moving to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues also signed Jules Kounde from Sevilla in our simulation, with the French defender scoring three goals and registering three assists as he became a stalwart at the back alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva.

Raphinha and Sterling both showed their dangerous dribbling threat, averaging over two successful dribbles per 90 minutes, whilst also demonstrating their ability to defend from the front.

Sterling just missed out on being ranked as Chelsea's top performer in the 2022/23 campaign, averaging a rating of 7.47 in all competitions, beaten only by Kante (7.54). At the end of the 2022-23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Chelsea XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is what Blues' best XI looked like at the end of the 2022-23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022: Full Chelsea best XI (5-2-3): Mendy; James, Kounde, Silva, Azpilicueta, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Raphinha, Sterling, Havertz.

Raheem Sterling and Raphinha supported Havertz in attack in Chelsea's best XI, whilst new signing Jules Kounde also featured in defence. So, how did the Blues perform in the league and cup competitions after signing Sterling and Raphinha in the summer transfer window? Let's take a look.

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