Chelsea have Hutchinson as potential Sterling replacement with huge FFP boost

Raheem Sterling of Chelsea is challenged by Hamza Choudhury of Leicester City during the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final between Chelsea FC and Leicester City FC at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2024 in London, England. 

Raheem Sterling endured an afternoon to forget at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea's FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City. Marc Cucurella put the hosts ahead early in the first half with Sterling fouled in the penalty area just a few moments later with usual taker Cole Palmer surprisingly giving up the spot-kick.

The England international has scored on five occasions from 12 yards this season, however it was Sterling who stepped up with the veteran attacker in need of a goal. However, his effort was weak, tame and easy to save for Jakub Stolarczyk with Sterling's disastrous 45 minutes continuing as he missed a close-range effort after being played through by Moises Caicedo.

Sterling was able to somewhat redeem himself as it was his cutback that was turned home by Palmer for Chelsea's second. The Blues were in control of the tie heading into the second half until Axel Disasi netted a disastrous own goal with Stephy Mavididi thumping in an equaliser.

With the game surprising level, things turned sour as the withdrawal of Mykhailo Mudryk was received by boos from the stands with supporters clearly angered he was taken off over Sterling. The former Manchester City man then launched a free-kick miles over the bar after a foul by Callum Doyle which saw him sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity for Jackson.

Sterling was later subbed off with Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke scoring late on to win the tie for Chelsea. With two substitutions on target, Sterling is facing a significant crossroads in his Chelsea career with it entirely possible he now struggles to break back into the starting XI.

An exit for Sterling is entirely possible amid recent links to Saudi Arabia, however he remains committed to Chelsea despite those rumours ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, understands. If that stance dramatically changes though, Chelsea could already have a ready-made replacement in their ranks.

Omari Hutchinson has enjoyed a wonderful loan spell at Ipswich with the 20-year-old netting his seventh and eighth goals of the season in Saturday's 6-0 Championship win over Sheffield Wednesday. Hutchinson also took his tally for assists up to six for the season and he could be ready to make an immediate impact on his return to Chelsea for the 2024/25 campaign.

Given Palmer's emergence this season, Pochettino offering chances to Hutchinson is possible however limited minutes for the likes of Mudryk and Madueke suggests otherwise. Although Hutchinson making an impact could result in Sterling being surplus to requirements and selling the 29-year-old could greatly help the club's financial situation with concerns remaining over profit and sustainability rules.

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