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'Chelsea have had issues with strikers, and I think I started it off' - Chris Sutton

There will be less pressure on Harry Maguire after his record-breaking move to Manchester United ...



Soccer

'Chelsea have had issues with strikers, and I think I started it off' - Chris Sutton

There will be less pressure on Harry Maguire after his record-breaking move to Manchester United because he’s not a striker, Chris Sutton has claimed.

“Well he’s not a striker, is he? I think it’s easier for a defender. It’s what you have to pay for a top player and he is a top player, so I understand why they’ve paid it.” Sutton proclaimed while previewing the upcoming Premier League season on Off The Ball.

When Sutton moved from Norwich City to Blackburn Rovers for £5m in July 1994, he did with the pressure of being the most expensive player in English football.

There he formed a partnership with Alan Shearer that propelled Rovers to their first league title in 80 years - scoring 15 goals in the process.

Expectation

Sutton understands the pressure that comes from moving for a big fee, and he is also keenly aware of how these moves can work out or turn into abject failure.

“I’d gone from Norwich City where there was no expectation, to Blackburn Rovers where, back in the day, there was an expectation for them to push for the title. When I moved to Chelsea later on in my career for £10m it was the opposite,” Sutton said.

Sutton would only score a single league goal for Chelsea in the 1999-00 season - coming in a 5-0 win over Manchester United. 

“I went for a lot of money, I didn’t score any goals. The money was an issue for Chelsea because they expected a better return. That clearly didn’t happen so I left,” he said.

Martin O’Neill revitalised his career when he moved to Celtic for £6m and Sutton formed a partnership with Henrik Larsson that Celtic fans still reminisce about.

The controversial pundit said, with tongue-in-cheek, that he was the first of Chelsea’s long list of strikers who flopped at the club.

“If you look at Torres - big money, Morata - big money, Shevchenko. There has been an issue with Chelsea number nines over the years and I think I started it off,” Sutton said.

He believes Tammy Abraham, who has been handed the number nine shirt, won’t have to deal with the pressure of a big transfer fee.

“People talk about Tammy Abraham possibly being the number nine this season but he doesn’t have the pressure of a transfer fee. I think there’s a will for him to do well because he’s been developed at the club. 

“I’m not into superstition, Abraham does have the number nine shirt but if you play badly, you play badly,” he said.

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Chelsea Chris Sutton Harry Maguire Manchester United Premier League