Multiple Championship sides have contacted Chelsea regarding a possible loan move for 21-year-old right-back Dujon Sterling, according to Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella.
The west London side are said to have opened contract talks with the young defender according to the same report, with Thomas Tuchel impressed with the fact Sterling can play in a more advanced wing-back position.
German coach Tuchel has operated with three at the back since he arrived at Stamford Bridge in January, making this adaptability essential for a man who seems like he’s a million miles away from a Premier League appearance right now.
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Reece James’ meteoric rise from Wigan Athletic to Chelsea’s first team and the England squad has made getting anywhere near the starting lineup a near-impossible task – especially with their depth at left-back also affecting his chances of claiming a place on the bench. They currently have Ben Chilwell, Marcos Alonso and Emerson as options in that position.
But the club are still willing to offer Sterling a new contract and if this new deal can be signed before the end of August, he could potentially be sent out on loan again in this transfer window to maximise his amount of first-team minutes.
Although the right-back has made just two senior appearances for the Blues since graduating through the Premier League giant’s academy, the 21-year-old has spent time out on loan at Coventry City and Wigan Athletic in the last three years.
One second-tier club would have been perfect for Sterling if they hadn’t already made a signing in this position. That club is Preston North End.
Frankie McAvoy’s side have already moved in the transfer market to pick up Rotherham United’s Matthew Olosunde – but with their wing-back system and central defence already bolstered with the likes of Liam Lindsay and Sepp van den Berg coming in this summer – this signing would have been the icing on the cake for the Lancashire side.
Chelsea will be hoping to find another Championship side that operates with wing-backs, because they could utilise this to monitor how he gets on in this role and then perhaps see him fit in seamlessly at Chelsea for the 2022/23 season.
That’s providing Tuchel is still manager and the same system remains in place.
The rumoured departure of Joe Rafferty could change the game for Preston though, so he could end up at Deepdale after all.