Thommo: I’m surprised Sterling wants City exit but Chelsea move makes sense

Paddy's football ambassador Phil Thompson weighs in on Raheem Sterling's future.

Raheem Sterling Man City Thommo

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  • Each week during the summer Phil Thompson is giving us his expert view on the biggest transfer stories around. Here Thommo weighs in on Raheem Sterling’s potential switch to West London from Premier League champions Manchester City…

I think Chelsea need to shake it up, I think they needed to get Romelu Lukaku out.

Besides him not doing it on the pitch, I think him sulking and not having a good attitude around the place was bad so I think they needed to move him on.

Thomas Tuchel likes to play three at the back quite a bit but if you’re going to get Raphinha and you’re going to get Raheem Sterling, to me it looks as though it’s going to be a 4-3-3 formation. Having these two players out wide, I think you’ve got a lot of creativity.

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Am I surprised he [Sterling] wants to leave Manchester City? Yes, but I can understand it because I don’t think he’s going to be a starter every week and he wants to be. Don’t forget, Liverpool signed him many, many years ago from QPR, he’s from West London so he’d be going back there. He came up to Liverpool and went to Manchester City. I think he sees this as being back at home.

His England prospects may have a lot to do with it as well. I think at times last season he looked a little bit unhappy sitting on the bench and he’s looking at the World Cup.

Raheem needs to be playing on a regular basis. His standard slipped a little bit with England and I think it was because he wasn’t playing enough and that will be part of the reason why he’s going to Chelsea.

Five subs rule not just good for the big boys

I think the new five substitutes rule is going to benefit everybody. Yes of course it will benefit all the big six with the strength in depth that they have. You can see all the movement in the market that’s happening which is quite unusual.

People are getting the players in place before pre-season has actually started. So, to have that backup and that quality of player, it will help everybody. With the benefit of having better, stronger and bigger squads of quality players of course it’s going to make a difference.

I think the game needs to move on and it is moving in the right direction. It makes everybody try and beef up their squads.

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