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Glen Johnson on Sterling to Chelsea: “It could be one of the bargains of the summer”

Glen Johnson believes Chelsea have got a 'bargain' in Raheem Sterling.
Glen Johnson believes Chelsea have got a 'bargain' in Raheem Sterling.

With the transfer window in full force, some of the Premier League big boys have begun to make a splash in this summer’s market. With Raheem Sterling on the verge of joining Chelsea, his former teammate Glen Johnson has told BettingOdds.com why it has the potential to be one of the bargains of the summer. Glen also spoke to us regarding Chelsea’s interest in Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesse Lingard's potential MLS move and why Timo Werner could be a success under Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling is set to become Chelsea’s first signing of the summer window. For £45 million, considering the quality of the player, do you believe it has the potential to be one of the bargain’s of the window?

“Yes I definitely believe this move has the potential to be one of the bargains of this summer's transfer window. £45 million in the UK for a player of that level is actually quite cheap isn’t it? If they get Raheem enjoying his football again then they’ve signed a player that’s much better than £45 million. 

“However, if there’s any team in the world that can lose a player of the calibre of Raheem then it’s Manchester City. They can afford to lose one because they’ve got world class players everywhere you look. They can afford to lose him but I do believe he still could have done a good job for Manchester City.

“Sterling’s still really young. He’s a London lad. He’s going to go to a top team that is probably going to be challenging next season that also has a top manager. What’s there not to like?”

The Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea rumours continue to gather pace. Todd Boehly is the main man involved in the negotiations and is yet to get approval for the move by Thomas Tuchel. Are you excited or worried that Boehly, a man with no experience in football previously, is pursuing a move that many pundits and reporters continue to question the benefit of?

“I think it depends on the rationale of why you want to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. If you’re signing him because you think you’re getting the Ronaldo of old then you’re deluded, but if you’re signing him because he’s a massive commercial deal and you’re going to earn an absolute fortune in shirt sales and sponsorships, then in that sense it’s a clever deal. The only man that can answer that is Boehly himself regarding why he wants to sign him. I know he’s got no experience in football, but people who do buy football clubs are successful at whatever it is they do and they’re clearly intelligent people. You don’t buy a football club without a plan and I do believe if they were to buy Ronaldo that it’ll be more from a commercial perspective than getting him into their starting eleven.”

If you were Chelsea, instead of going for Ronaldo, would you prefer to hijack Barcelona’s move for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski? Bear in mind that Lewandowski is three years Ronaldo’s junior.

“If you’re choosing a player to improve the starting eleven, then I’d go for Robert Lewandowski over Cristiano Ronaldo, all day long. If it’s commercial, then I can understand if you opted for Cristiano Ronaldo. If I could only take one, then I’d take Lewandowski as he can improve the team straight away and I do believe Chelsea need a striker.”

As Manchester United’s long drawn pursuit of Frenkie de Jong continues, Chelsea have now been said to come into the race. Now considering that Chelsea are in the Champions League and are based in London, then if Chelsea follow up their interest with an offer, then is there no chance United will be able compete for the player?

“They can beat Chelsea to the signing of Frenkie de Jong, but only if they break the bank. If you’re the player and you’ve got two of the same offer, one from Manchester United and the other from Chelsea, then it’s a no brainer, you’re going to go to Chelsea all day long. Manchester United no longer have that authority. There was a time when Manchester United came knocking and the answer would be ‘yes’. They can only sign players now that Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich don’t want, unless they’re going to double the player’s salary.”

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Raphinha looks as if he’s turned down a move to Chelsea to pursue a move to cash-strapped Barcelona. Is it much of a miss for Chelsea? Do you believe he would have started for them anyway?

“I do think he would have got gametime at Chelsea but it probably would have been a choice between him and Raheem Sterling. I’d have liked Chelsea to sign Raphinha because he’s a fantastic player but I don’t think they needed him and Sterling.”

Matthijs de Ligt now looks set for a move with Bayern Munich instead of Chelsea. Now considering he along with Nathan Aké seem to be Chelsea’s top defensive targets, then how much of a blow would it be for them to miss out someone of the calibre of de Ligt?

“Sometimes these top players only come on the market once and when it’s in a position that Chelsea clearly need then I do think it’ll hit them if they don’t get De Ligt or any other big player in that position. They’ve already lost two good players already in Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger, so if there’s a chance of getting De Ligt now then they’ve got to do whatever possible to get it over the line.”

The Sunday papers have suggested that Arsenal are set to make a move for N’Golo Kanté. Firstly, can you see him making the move to North London and how much would he elevate the current Arsenal side?

“Any team would want N’Golo Kanté. We all know what he does and what he’s going to do because he delivers every time he plays. I can’t see Chelsea letting him go to Arsenal to be honest. Arsenal are nowhere near a threat to Chelsea, so I can’t see N’Golo wanting to go there just yet. He’s got plenty more in the tank.”

British tabloids last weeked linked Liverpool with a move for Chelsea forward Timo Werner. It was well documented that Jürgen Klopp wanted the player at Anfield before his move to Stamford Bridge. Do you think he could finally be a success in the Premier League if he was able to play in Klopp’s side, and do you think he would suit Liverpool’s style of play more than Chelsea’s?

 

‘I think he would. He’s got a lot to offer. Just at Chelsea, from day one, he’s looked super, super low on confidence. Maybe someone like Klopp would make him smile and enjoy his football. If that was the case then I think he’s got a lot to offer and the way that Liverpool play then he’s going to get a lot of goalscoring opportunities, he’s going to be fast on the break, so, yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me. I think a lot of people will be shocked but I don’t think it would actually surprise me. If Klopp can get him happy and smiling and confident then you’re going to have a good player on your hands.”

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Chelsea are linked with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly. He has a year to go on his contract, but Chelsea face competition from Juventus and Barcelona. Would he be an upgrade on the centre-backs that have departed Chelsea this summer?

“He’s got the credentials in terms of how big, strong and good on the ball he is. However, whether he can cope in the Premier League is one thing we don’t know. He’s got the potential to be a good centre-half for Chelsea, for sure.”

 

 

In the past month West Ham have made an offer to Jesse Lingard, but since then he’s said to have traveled to the USA to listen to proposals from MLS teams. He’s 29 years old and is technically meant to be in the prime of his career, so if he went to the MLS now, would you question his ambition as a footballer?

 

“I think a move to the MLS for Jesse is too soon. In America, you have the nice lifestyle to play the last few years of your career but it’s no way near as competitive as English football. Other than that, I can’t believe he’s 29. He had that good year at West Ham and that’s probably the best year of his career. So if you’re him and you really want to put out a name for yourself then I’d be going back to West Ham to prove that it wasn’t a fluke and you want to do it again and then go to America in around three or four years’ time.”

 

We spoke to you earlier about Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential departure from Manchester United. Paulo Dybala being linked as a potential replacement on a free transfer. Smart bit of business by Manchester United if this came to be the case?

 

“Yes absolutely. If you can get a player like Paulo Dybala on a free then Jesus! Even if Manchester United didn’t need him, I’d still say sign him. These players don’t come around for free very often. Again it’s probably a player they don’t need but if he’s free you’ve got to take him. But if he is available for free, I’d be very surprised if he ends up at Manchester United.”

 

Now finally, considering all the pantomime surrounding Manchester United at present in regards to Ronaldo’s no show, the dragged out Frenkie de Jong transfer saga and the lack of transfer activity overall, then where do you believe Manchester United will finish this season if you were to make a prediction?

 

‘I think they’ll finish fifth or sixth. To be fair to Arsenal they were dreadful at the start of last season and no one ever spoke about them and then they were there or thereabouts towards the end. So if they improve, they’ll probably be an even bigger threat than United. So I reckon United will finish around fifth or sixth.”

 

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