Reece James and Mason Mount delighted to have 'top-class' Raheem Sterling at Chelsea

England forward joined Blues on Wednesday and has been training with his new teammates in the United States

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Reece James and Mason Mount have lavished praise on new Chelsea signing Raheem Sterling, describing the England forward as one of the best players in the world.

Sterling completed his move from Manchester City on Wednesday and immediately joined his new club on their pre-season tour of the United States. The 27-year-old, who has signed a five-year contract, was seen taking part in a training session and could feature for the Blues as soon as Saturday in their opening pre-season match against Club America in Las Vegas.

James and Mount know Sterling well from their time together with the England national team, as well as coming up against him during Chelsea's matches against City, so both players know what to expect from the four-time Premier League winner.

"He can be quiet and he can be loud as well but he’s great to be around and a top guy off the pitch. He will bring good energy," James told the Chelsea website.

"On the pitch I don’t really need to talk too much about what he does. He’s been at the top of the Premier League for the past 10 years and he’s won a number of titles, so hopefully he can help bring some special moments to us as well.

"It’s a very exciting signing. He’s not a player that has no experience or hasn’t won any trophies. He’s scored a number of goals and a number of assists, so at the end of the day he’s won trophies in one of the biggest leagues in football."

As Chelsea's right-back, James has been involved in numerous direct battles with Sterling, so he knows better than most how challenging it can be to face his new teammate.

"Playing against him is a nightmare so I’m pretty happy that he’s here now and I don’t need to play against him anymore! The way he plays, he’s so small and sharp. He looks small but you don’t realise how strong he is. He never stops and is always trying to run in behind and stuff," James, 22, said.

Reece James and Raheem Sterling have been involved in numerous direct duels in matches between Chelsea and Manchester City. PA

"I remember he had a good game in the Champions League final. It was an even battle - he beat me a few times and I won duels a few times as well, so it was a tough game between us."

Mount shared James' excitement and believes Sterling will prove to be a huge asset for Chelsea, both on and off the pitch.

"He's someone that I've got to know more and more over the last few years. The way he is as a person and the way he is on the pitch, he’s someone who demands the highest level from himself and the players around him," the 23-year-old midfielder said.

"He's been a leader and captain a few times when I've played so he's someone that I've definitely learned a lot from, being that close to him."

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group D - England v Croatia - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - June 13, 2021 England's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their first goal with Mason Mount Pool via REUTERS/Justin Tallis

"I know Raz pretty well and I’ve been lucky enough to play with him for the last couple of years with England. He’s scored a lot and he creates a lot because he’s dangerous anytime he has the ball.

"When he doesn't have the ball, he’s a massive threat so for him to now be with us, we're delighted. We’re buzzing to play with him. He's going to bring a lot to the group so it's exciting times.

"He has plenty of years left in him to win stuff and to keep pushing his level. For me to be around him a bit with England and to see how many caps he’s got, also as captain of the side a few times. He’s someone I've learned off and will continue to learn from the leadership side."

Updated: July 14, 2022, 7:03 AM
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