Arsenal ‘monitoring’ struggling Chelsea forward as Arteta ‘prepares’ Champions League squad

Jason Soutar
Raheem Sterling looks dejected during a match

Arsenal are reportedly ‘monitoring’ the situation of Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling as Mikel Arteta prepares for his side’s return to the Champions League.

Sterling joined the Blues last summer after seven years with Manchester City.

The England international cost north of £50million but his performances have been a far cry from his days at the Etihad.

Sterling has 113 career Premier League goals and won 12 trophies with the Citizens and has certainly not lost his ability overnight.

It has been a difficult season for everyone at Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel was sacked in September and replaced by Graham Potter, who is doing an awful job so far.

While Potter is struggling, he has not been helped by the fact he joined during the season and has been given a bloated squad to deal with.

Sterling, 28, has scored six goals in 25 matches across all competitions and has only found the back of the net once in the Premier League since August’s defeat at Southampton.

Despite his struggles, Arsenal manager Arteta is interested in signing the former Liverpool wonderkid.

This is according to 90min, who say the Gunners are looking to build their squad for their return to the Champions League.

Next season looks like it will be the Londoners’ first campaign in Europe’s premier competition since 2016-17, unless they completely capitulate between now and the end of the season.

‘Plans’ are already in place from Arteta – who is ‘interested in a reunion’ with Sterling – who he coached at City.

The Spanish manager is a ‘huge fan’ of Sterling and will ask sporting director Edu to strike a deal should the player become available.

However, Chelsea are not looking to get rid of the 28-year-old, who is also not looking to leave the club, the report claims.

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The report does mention that the Blues have some ‘tricky decisions’ to make at the end of the season.

Potter – should he remain in charge – will need to offload a number of first-team players, with summer signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella both facing ‘uncertain futures’.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not mentioned, but he is widely expected to leave despite only joining the club last year.

The former Arsenal captain was left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad for the knockout stage of the competition and has barely had a kick in the Premier League in 2023.

Should Chelsea look to offload a number of their highest earners, Arsenal could be on red alert and may try their luck with Sterling.

The England forward would be another player the Gunners have signed from Chelsea. They most recently bought Jorginho on deadline day last month.

Meanwhile, Glenn Hoddle was critical of Sterling for his performance in the Blues’ defeat at Tottenham on Sunday.

“I think, without Thiago Silva on the pitch, they would have been prepared – that’s the simple side of the game,” Hoddle said.

“The ball is going back (by Tottenham) and they (Chelsea) are going backwards! They could have scored with Emerson Royal. Look Sterling, sleeping! Sleeping!”

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink argued that Sterling was the only Blues player who tried at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, however.

“For me, after Thiago left the pitch, the level of Chelsea dropped,” Hasselbaink told Sky Sports.

“They started the game ever so well, but then he went off and it went a little bit chaotic.

“Spurs were more aggressive in the duels than Chelsea and you can’t have that, especially not in a derby.

“Chelsea didn’t create at all. The only one who really tried was Sterling, but it didn’t come off for him. It’s a worrying time for Chelsea at the moment.”

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