Blues boss sees improvement in Raheem Sterling as attention turns to next season

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino says Raheem Sterling will also have a say on whether he stays at the club this summer.

The 29-year-old has had a tough time at Stamford Bridge following his move from Manchester City in 2022 and has not always featured under Pochettino this season, starting 21 of the 36 Premier League games so far.

But he climbed off the bench after recent injury and illness to score an equaliser in the Blues’ 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Asked about Sterling’s future at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino said: “I talk about all the players, all the players have contracts next season.

Thiago (Silva) has announced he is leaving but all the players who have contracts are going to be there and always it is two parts, the club and the player that needs to decide for the future.

“It’s a good season for him, he has scored and assisted many goals if you compare with last season. I think he has improved a lot this season, if you compare with last season.”

Chelsea came from behind to beat Forest and continue their late surge for European qualification.

Only Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool have taken more points since Boxing Day than Pochettino, who thinks his side deserve to qualify for Europe.

The former Tottenham boss could yet lead the Blues into the Europa League or Europa Conference League, depending on Manchester United’s final league position and whether they win the FA Cup or not.

He added: “I think so, yes. It should be good, really good to finish in Europe.

“It would be important for the club, the players, for everyone.

“Always when the negative circumstances happen and it is not a solid run during the season, to finish strongly in this way is going to be very good for the club to start next season.”