Chelsea could replace Sterling with the 14th-best wonderkid in the world

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Last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Leicester should have been a happy moment for Chelsea and their supporters.

Among the goalscorers were Noni Madueke and Carney Chukwuemeka, two players who are the future of Stamford Bridge.

However, after a remarkable own goal from Axel Disasi and a rather dismal game for Raheem Sterling, negativity still engulfed a football club desperate to wipe away toxicity.

chelsea-nkunku

You feel that may well not happen until Mauricio Pochettino is gone. However, his name isn’t the only one on the chopping block with the Blues in need of somewhat of a clear-out in the summer transfer window.

One name that should arguably become less prominent in 2024/25 is Sterling.

Raheem Sterling’s season in numbers

At Manchester City Sterling had become world-class. This was a winger at the very peak of their powers, notably scoring double figures across seven straight seasons. He had also found the net on more than 20 occasions in three straight campaigns, even finding the net 31 times during 2019/20.

Where has that form gone then? Sterling isn’t reaching the end of his career. He’s still 29. The attacker should be at his peak still.

Raheem-Sterling-Carabao-Cup-Final

Unfortunately, the Stamford Bridge scenery doesn’t help one bit. The England international has been a phenomenal player across the last decade of Premier League football but at Chelsea he is anything but.

The clash with Leicester last weekend just about summed it up. The former Liverpool man took a penalty from Cole Palmer’s grasp only to miss and then sunk a close-range free-kick high, wide and handsome. It ended up in the crowd, a crowd that would then boo him.

Sterling was later substituted to warm applause but it was a game that rather aptly typified his lukewarm performances in the capital to date. It may be somewhat of a surprise to learn, therefore, that he is their second-best contributor of attacking involvements this term behind Palmer, scoring eight times and supplying ten assists.

On a rather ridiculous salary of £325k-per-week, trying to shift the forward will be troublesome but they can soon start to cast him aside courtesy of a very exciting wonderkid.

Chelsea’s readymade Sterling replacement

In 2025, Chelsea will welcome one of the finest young talents in world football to the capital.

That happens to be Kendry Paez, a 16-year-old Ecuadorian who has been garnering quite a reputation throughout the globe for his stunning performances at such a young age.

The Blues agreed a £17.2m deal last year to sign the player but he is legally not allowed to move until he turns 18. As a result, it’s unlikely we’ll see him plying his trade with the club until the summer of 2025 at the very earliest.

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Chelsea’s starting XI in 2025 which includes the exciting Kendry Paez is a mouthwatering prospect.

So, Sterling’s place will be safe for the time being but considering Paez’s ability to play on the flanks, he could be coming for the Englishman’s place before too long.

What makes him so exciting? Well, he possesses a deft touch and simply awe-inspiring ball control. His dribbling ability is mesmerising too. Described as a ‘technical magician’ by Total Football Analysis, one of their writers noted the following: ‘His attributes when it comes to dribbling, ball control, and general attacking contributions already make him a big threat.’

There is quite the hype surrounding Paez with talent scout Jacek Kulig once adding: “Every time Kendry Paez touches the ball you can almost feel his incredible class through the TV/computer.”

Scoring on your senior debut at the age of 15 has no doubt spread the appeal from a young age but he’s not slowing down and he’s not going away.

The teenage sensation is one of the best wonderkids on the planet and has been labelled as such by GOAL’s NXGN list for 2024. The Ecuadorian sensation sits at 14th this year, a position he will no doubt improve upon once he sets foot in English football.

NXGN 2024: Best 15 wonderkids

Player

Club

#15 Guillaume Restes

Toulouse

#14 Kendry Paez

Independiente del Valle

#13 Roony Bardghji

FC Copenhagen

#12 Jorrel Hato

Ajax

#11 Antonio Nusa

Club Brugge

#10 Leny Yoro

Lille

#9 Claudio Echeverri

Man City (River Plate loan)

#8 Kenan Yildiz

Juventus

#7 Kobbie Mainoo

Man United

#6 Vitor Roque

Barcelona

#5 Arda Guler

Real Madrid

#4 Mathys Tel

Bayern Munich

#3 Warren Zaire-Emery

PSG

#2 Endrick

Palmeiras

#1 Lamine Yamal

Barcelona

List compiled by GOAL.

So far this season Paez has one goal across three appearances, but his tally at senior level is already so mightily impressive. For his club, Independiente del Valle, he has found the net on six occasions in 30 outings.

Chelsea fans will have to wait their turn to get a proper glimpse of the exciting winger but once they do, it may finally be time to wave farewell to an underperforming and frustrating Sterling.



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