Graham Potter is confident that one of Chelsea’s major summer signings will rediscover his best form for club and country.
Potter’s Blues were beaten by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday thanks to Gabriel’s second half goal – their second successive Premier League defeat following the 4-1 mauling at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Chelsea’s tactics under Potter have been criticised in the early weeks of his tenure, though he safely guided the club into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
One player who has failed to fire at Chelsea is £47.5m summer signing Raheem Sterling, who has found himself deployed at wing-back by Potter at times.
The 27-year-old has scored just five goals in 18 appearances in all competitions, but Potter is confident that Sterling will turn things around for Chelsea and England – who will rely on his experience during the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
“He’s at a prime age, he’s got all the quality you see every day in training and the desire is there,” Potter said of Sterling.
“He wants to help the team. He’s suffering with the team, just like the rest of us are. We all want to do better and all want to improve our performance, and we want to improve how the team functions.
“That’s where the work is. It’s not about zooming into individuals, I don’t think that’s fair to anybody.
“I don’t think we have functioned well enough as a team, so the criticism is towards me, towards the collective, towards us all, in terms of can we do better as a team to create more chances, not just for him, but for everybody?
“When we play Arsenal it’s about [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, when we play City it’s about Sterling, but it’s ultimately always about the team.”