Raheem Sterling has named Mateo Kovacic as the player he was most looking forward to lining up alongside after signing for .
The England winger returned to in the summer after a trophy-laden eight year stint at Manchester City during which he cemented his reputation as one of the most prolific wingers in English football.
City enjoyed many titanic struggles against Chelsea during Sterling’s time at the Etihad Stadium and named the Croatia international as one of his toughest opponents.
‘Mateo Kovacic to be fair,’ Sterling said when asked by who he was relishing linking up with upon joining the Blues.
‘When we used to play him for I used to think ‘ oh my good gosh,’ I’m not going to lie.
‘I always used to think ‘oh my gosh.’ I used to love playing with Mason [Mount] for England as well. He’s just a little busy, always getting on the ball and stuff. But those two for sure.
‘There was a few times Kova was doing some serious stuff against us.’
Sterling’s own form, meanwhile, has come under the microscope following a series of indifferent displays having been deployed in an unfamiliar wing-back role.
Graham Potter insists the 27-year-old hasn’t been tasked with any defensive responsibilities but Arsenal legend Ian Wright earlier this week argued there was no way Sterling could be happy unless he is restored to his best position.
He said: ‘It’s one of the confusing things what Graham Potter is doing at the moment, I can’t get my head around it,’ Wright said on the Kelly and Wrighty Show ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.
‘When I did the analysis on the game [Chelsea’s defeat to Brighton], the full-back area, Brighton just absolutely tore them to shreds because you’ve got Pulisic and Sterling who are supposedly meant to come and try to help Chalobah and Cucurella.
‘It wasn’t happening and I couldn’t understand it. There’s no way he [Sterling] can be happy playing that role, especially when you look at what he’s done at City, and the team he was playing in, everything was really concentrated on offence for him.
‘It must be really strange and tough for him to go to a new club and have to play in a position like that. I hope they can sort that out soon for him.’
, ., and .