Chelsea’s squad for the 2022/23 season could look very different to what we have seen in recent times and football.london takes a look at how it may appear
Finally, Chelsea’s ownership saga is drawing to a close, with Todd Boehly’s consortium now on the final stretch of completing the takeover. On Wednesday morning, the UK Government confirmed they had issued a licence to allow the sale to go through.
The Blues are about to embark on a new chapter of their 117-year-long existence. Boehly is set to back Thomas Tuchel in the summer transfer window as the German head coach looks to try and close the gap to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
To do that, there needs to be major surgery within the Chelsea squad over the next few months. The likes of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger will leave the club on free transfers, meaning the Blues will need to look elsewhere to replace the two first-team defenders.
The squad we see next term could be completely different to the one we saw stumble across the line to a third-placed finish in the 2021/22 season. With this being said, football.london takes a look at how Tuchel’s options could look next season.
Edouard Mendy is likely to remain as the first-choice goalkeeper. The Senegal international perhaps showed some vulnerability in the second half of the season, but he is undoubtedly the Blues’ best option in that position.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, meanwhile, could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard is no longer considered the first-choice shot-stopper and has been strongly linked with a move away from the club. Marcus Bettinelli could stay and remain the third-choice.
A very interesting position for Chelsea and one that needs to be addressed over the coming weeks. As mentioned, Rudiger and Christensen will leave, so they need to be replaced in one way or another.
Jules Kounde remains of interest to the Blues, and the west Londoners are still huge favourites to land the Frenchman’s signature this summer. Whether or not Chelsea look to bring another defender to the club as well remains to be seen.
The likes of Josko Gvardiol have been linked, and football.london understands Gleison Bremer has been watched by Chelsea over the last season. On the other hand, the Blues may be tempted to hand a chance to Levi Colwill should he be recalled from his loan deal at Huddersfield Town.
To the wing-back position… The right wing-back and left wing-back could both be addressed this summer. Should Cesar Azpilicueta leave, then Chelsea may need to scout around the market for a replacement. Likewise, Marcos Alonso continues to be linked with a move away, with Barcelona said to be interested in the Spaniard’s services.
Another interesting one for Chelsea. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both have just over 12 months remaining on their current deals at Stamford Bridge, with both of their futures uncertain as things stand. It looks as if Kante’s contract is the one Chelsea are more interested in sorting out right now, but that could all change of course.
Ross Barkley looks set to leave the club as he also enters the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge. After playing so little over the 2021/22 campaign, the Blues would not stand in the way of the midfielder should he wish to depart.
Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour could well be recalled from their loan spells at Crystal Palace and Norwich City, respectively, to give Chelsea more depth in midfield. Gallagher, especially, looks set to be given a chance to prove himself under Tuchel next season.
On the transfer front, the Blues have been strongly linked with Aurelien Tchouameni, who they have a long-term interest in, but the Monaco midfielder looks destined for a move to Real Madrid in the near future. Declan Rice is of interest, but the overriding feeling is that the England international will cost too much with West Ham United demanding over £100million for the former Chelsea academy star.
Another position with so much uncertainty. Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku have all been linked with exits from the club this summer.
The only ones that you can 100 per cent say will stay at Chelsea next season are Kai Havertz and Mason Mount. There perhaps isn’t much sense in offloading all of the aforementioned forward players, but there could be an exodus of some of Tuchel’s current options.
Armando Broja enjoyed a fine 2021/22 season on loan at Southampton and could return to Chelsea this summer. Whether or not the Albanian is sold or not remains to be seen, with several clubs interested in signing the talented centre-forward.
Chelsea have been linked with a host of new attackers. Robert Lewandowski looks set to leave Bayern Munich, and his name has been mentioned. Ivan Perisic and Christopher Nkunku are both of interest to the Blues, football.london understands. Other names have been linked as well – including Neymar, who could now leave Paris Saint-Germain.
According to a report from the Telegraph, Chelsea are open to selling the likes of Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Ross Barkley and Kenedy if the right offers arrive their way. Via CIES Football Observatory, these players’ total values add up to £206m.
Chelsea could look to tie up Kante to fresh terms in the coming weeks, with the Frenchman still an integral part of Tuchel’s plans at Stamford Bridge. Mount and Reece James are also expected to be offered new contracts.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli
Defenders: Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jules Kounde, Josko Gvardiol, Levi Colwill, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Marc Cucurella
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ibrahim Sangare, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour
Forwards: Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Christopher Nkunku, Ousmane Dembele, Kai Havertz, Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi
In football.london‘s ‘ideal squad’, the likes of Ziyech, Barkley, Rudiger, Christensen and Alonso, have all left the club. They all have direct replacements in Jules Kounde, Josko Gvardiol, Marc Cucurella Ibrahim Sangare, Christopher Nkunku and Ousmane Dembele.
Kounde is the obvious option for Chelsea. The Sevilla defender has proven himself to bring one of European football’s most exciting emerging central defenders in recent seasons. Gvardiol is an exciting centre-back that could be more for the future but also has the talent to be starting on a regular basis in the Premier League. Cucurella has also been linked with Brighton and has showcased his ability to play as a wing-back during his time down on the south coast.
In midfield, if Barkley is to leave, Sangare is an option to replace the Chelsea man. Sangare is not at all like Barkley in terms of his play style, but could offer the Blues some much-needed solidity between the midfield and the defence.
In attack, Dembele is set to become a free transfer. The Frenchman is immensely talented and has previous with Tuchel. Keeping him fit is the main focus, though.
Meanwhile, Nkunku, who was recently crowned as the Bundesliga Player of the Season, is one of Europe’s brightest attacking talents right now. The RB Leipzig star would not come cheap, but has shown in his time in Germany his immense ability in front of goal and also the capability to play in any of the three attacking positions Tuchel has in his system.
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