Rangers completed the signing of Chelsea academy graduate Dujon Sterling on a four-year deal. The 23-year-old failed to make any appearances in the English Premier League for the Blues. He was sent on four loan spells. Sterling played his first season away from the Bridge at Coventry City in the English third division. After this loan spell, Sterling had three different spells in the EFL Championship.
Chelsea are rebuilding their squad, and a few youngsters and first-team players have been released since Todd Boehly’s arrival. Now, the 23-year-old versatile defender is in Scotland and will look to boost his career. Here is a look at some of the stats that show what Sterling can offer the Scottish giants.
Dujon Sterling is a versatile defender who can play as a full-back and as a centre-back. Last season, he was on loan at Stoke City, where he played as a left-back, right-back, wing-back, and centre-back.
The above heatmap also shows that the player was available on both flanks. He spent 2,241 minutes on the field for the Potters. One area where Sterling would like to improve is the end product. The player failed to create or score a goal in the second division.
The 23-year-old likes to run with the ball and will average around two progressive runs per 90 minutes in 2022–23. His dribble success rate of 56.1% allowed him to beat the opposition defenders and get into the opposition penalty box. Sterling averaged 1.9 passes into the penalty box per 90 minutes and had a 34% accuracy rate. The player will look to deliver more passes into the box for the Rangers and hope that his teammates add an assist to his name.
How things have started in Scotland?
Dujon Sterling has made four appearances for the Scottish side. In his first two appearances, the player came on for the last few minutes. He played as a right centre-back. In the last two appearances, Sterling was the left-back.
The player has been solid at the back and won 71.4% of his defensive duels and 67% of his aerial duels. He has made eight crucial interceptions and only given away one foul in the process.
Last season, Sterling won 66.5% of his defensive duels, 48% of his aerial duels, and 42% of his loose ball duels.
Can he replace the Croatian full-back?
Dujon Sterling has to fight for his place at Rangers. Their backline is settled, and the player needs to show more improvement to cement his place in the team. James Tavernier is likely to remain at right-back. Harry Souttar and Connor Goldson play in the heart of the defence. Borna Barisic plays as a left-back.
Barisic was criticised for his performances in the past, but the player has shown some improvement and plays regularly for the national team. The above viz compares the stats of Sterling and Barisic according to their percentile rank. Sterling has won more duels but has struggled in other attributes. He will have to improve his game to get regular game time.
Dujon Sterling has a chance to make his name in Scotland. A successful campaign with Rangers could earn him a move back to England or one of the other top five leagues in the world. He will look to win some silverware with Rangers and cement his place in the first team.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine