Controversial Chelsea selection dominates this subtle but vital attacking stat

At times this season, playing without a striker has seemed an obvious choice for Chelsea.

They’ve had enough in form attackers to fill up a front line, without a true 9 capable of leading the line.

But there are issues with that – all too often you can be pinned into your half without an out ball. Even a striker who misses chances can be worth it just for the way they get your team up the pitch.

Looking at FBRef’s “progressive passes received” we get a good view about which Blues are best at picking up balls towards the opposition’s goal.

As you’d expect, the top 3 are all attackers. You’re hardly going to have a centre back on the end of the majority of attacking passes.

Nicolas Jackson and Cole Palmer are on 108 and 114 respectively. Not bad at all. But Raheem Sterling has an incredible 220, all but doubling them.

That shows what an important part he can play in getting the team up the pitch. He’s not always the most popular selection, but this makes it very clear what he brings in this regard.

Chelsea News