Dujon Sterling has agreed a new contract with Chelsea and is set to join Championship side Blackpool on loan for the remainder of the season, football.london understands.
Sterling, who joined the Blues at the age of seven, will sign a new two-year deal at Stamford Bridge that includes the option for a further year.
The wing-back will then depart on loan for Blackpool, whose head coach Neil Critchley is understood to have played a key role in convincing Sterling to turn down several other offers and relocate to Bloomfield Road.
Chelsea first approached the 21-year-old over a new deal in June. At that stage, Sterling had just 12 months remaining on his contract, although it was always his intention to remain with the Blues.
Sterling was part of the first-team squad that was overseen by Tuchel in pre-season and he impressed the German and his coaching staff despite playing the majority of his match action as a right centre-back rather than in his preferred wing-back role.
It was further validation for Sterling who hasn’t played a competitive game for more than 18 months.
After a strong season on loan at Coventry City, Sterling joined Wigan Athletic for the 2019/20 campaign and soon forced his way into the starting XI.
However, Sterling suffered a hamstring injury in January 2020 and his return was then postponed as the Premier League and Football League was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the first lockdown in the United Kingdom, Sterling suffered from a serious, potentially career-threatening illness. Later in the year, he would contract coronavirus.
Sterling undertook his recovery work at Chelsea and by the start of this year was ready to make his comeback.
There was loan interest in January but the decision was taken for Sterling to remain with the Blues and build himself back up with the Development Squad.
It’s understood Chelsea’s academy coaches were impressed with how quickly Sterling regained full fitness. By the end of the campaign, he was very much back to his best and had trained with the first-team squad under Tuchel.
Chelsea’s decision to offer Sterling a new deal is proof that those at the club believe he is back to his best. The only thing he was lacking was regular game time, which is why the decision has been taken for him to spend the campaign in the Championship with Blackpool.
Source by Football London