Raheem Sterling has said that he’s happy to play as a wing-back for Chelsea, but doesn’t believe the position allows him to play to the best of his ability.
The 27-year-old has found himself playing in the unfamiliar role under head coach Graham Potter, following his appointment in September as Thomas Tuchel’s successor.
His appearances there have brought mixed results to date. Sterling impressed in the role during the Champions League win over RB Salzburg, but looked overwhelmed and exposed defensively in the heavy 4-1 defeat to Brighton that followed.
Critics have questioned whether Sterling is worthy of a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup as a result of his form, but he has stated that he’s happy to play further back if that’s what Potter wants.
“You’ve come to a new team, there is different things going to be asked of you, it’s a completely different shape,” Sterling told the Kelly and Wrighty Show.
“I haven’t played in back five for a while, but it’s something the manager has asked me to do and something that I’m more than happy to do as well.
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“We’ve got the ball, I’m high and wide but you’ve to defend as well… But the more I’m next to the box, the better for myself. The more time I have to figure it out in this position, I’m more than happy to play it.”
Sterling added that it can’t have been easy for Potter to succeed Tuchel at Chelsea with the season already underway, but he can’t hide from the fact that he’d flourish more further forward.
“I feel my best position is a winger, that’s for sure,” he continued. “But the manager has his way of playing and he’s not had a full pre-season with us, he was dropped in the middle of a storm, really.”
Sterling has scored four goals in 16 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, having joined from Premier League champions Manchester City in the summer for a fee approaching £50m.