Thomas Tuchel left Mauricio Pochettino a Chelsea gift and a £150m burden.

Thomas Tuchel left Mauricio Pochettino a Chelsea gift and a £150m burden.

Since his arrival at Chelsea, Raheem Sterling has been one of Mauricio Pochettino’s saving graces, and the winger is beginning to establish his worth following his transfer from Manchester City.

The forward has been in electrifying form through the first four games of the season, demonstrating why Thomas Tuchel was so eager to sign him a year ago.

Pochettino made it clear before the summer transfer window that he needed to reorganize his squad. Those who desired to depart, such as Cesar Azpilicueta and Mateo Kovacic, had their departures facilitated, while those whose contracts were expiring were also released.

Multiple players were considered inadequate for the Chelsea project and consequently released. Sterling was rumored to be offloaded after his dismal 2022/23 season, during which his £47.5 million price tag was mocked.

However, Pochettino remained steadfast in his desire to work with the England international, and the winger has repaid his manager’s confidence with a blistering start to the new season. This season, Sterling has tallied twice in four appearances, which somewhat understates his impact on Chelsea.

The former City star’s direct runs on the wing and willingness to cut inside to influence the game have given the Blues’ attack a new lease on life. Despite the expanding number of alternatives at Stamford Bridge, Sterling is currently irreplaceable. Pochettino owes Tuchel his possession of the England wideout.

The 28-year-old appears to be the only gift that Tuchel left Chelsea after being abruptly fired and replaced by Graham Potter a year ago. During his tenure with the club, the German manager signed 13 players, but only a handful have had memorable moments in a Blues jersey.

Despite Sterling’s influence on and off the field, Tuchel has left the Chelsea hierarchy with a £150 million conundrum in the form of Romelu Lukaku and Marc Cucurella.

Both players were acquired for enormous fees but no longer appear to have significant futures at the club. Their transactions would have been authorized if sufficient bids had been submitted, but none were. Due to Chelsea’s transfer demands and the pair’s salaries, no clubs are interested in signing them permanently.

Lukaku appeared likely to return to Inter Milan in the summer, but he severed ties with the club when negotiations with the Serie A club broke down. The Blues were unable to sell the Belgian international and had to settle for a loan transfer to Roma for the forward, with his £97.5m price tag remaining one of the most egregious Premier League overspends in recent years.

Similarly, Chelsea appeared to squander valuable resources last summer when it lavished £63 million on Cucurella after an outstanding season with Brighton. Due to the fact that the Spaniard struggled in his debut season in London, he has been offered to numerous clubs in recent months.

The player decided he wanted to prove his value at the club, leaving Pochettino with a significant dilemma to solve before January. If Cucurella fails to regain his form, Chelsea will have a difficult time finding a permanent buyer for him unless they sell him on the cheap.

Thomas Tuchel left Mauricio Pochettino a Chelsea gift and a £150m burden.