Chelsea are undergoing a change of sorts under Frank Lampard and while they have impressed this season, they have been inconsistent. Like all the top clubs, the Blues too have been linked with a number of players in the summer and we give their XI if they wisely spend their reported
€200million budget in the summer.
1. GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga
The blues are in no need to panic buy and force themselves to spend the reported €42million price tag on Ajax shot stopper Onana. Given the seven year contract given to Kepa Arrizabalaga at the start of the 2018/19 season, one can say he was brought in for the long hall, and a recent slump in form, or rather, lack of form is no reason to completely get rid of him.
His recent showings against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League show how adept he is to not losing focus and his grit and determination to fight back for his first team spot regardless of how underwhelming he may have been. A few good games and decent additions to the backline are likely to help him rise to the top.
2. RB: Reece James
You want a man who can deliver an inch perfect cross and, Reece James is your man. You want a man who can perform that last ditch tackle and subsequently release one of your forwards, Reece James is your man. You want a man to not lose focus and be versatile on the pitch, Reece James is your man. Mr Reliable is going to be replaced by Mr Reliable in 2020.
3. CB: Andreas Christensen
Christensen is always one step ahead of the opposition whenever they’re looking to feed of their strikers. He can slide tackle with ease and has the pace to catch up with strikers in a one on one situation.
With the right coaching staff and regular game time, there is no reason why he can’t become the best defender in the league. A little work on his physique and consistency can help elevate his game to the next level.
4. CB: Dayot Upamecano
Ask any Chelsea fan and they will say this – Rudiger often lacks match awareness and is caught out. Zouma is slow with his decision making. Timori is far too inexperienced to lead the title charge from the back. Worry not, Upamecano is the answer to all these problems identifiable in the current set of defenders.
He brings along with him a sense of calmness and physical presence that not many can compete with. He’s young, experienced (100+ games at the senior level) and quick. And with that release clause of a reported €60million, he is an absolute bargain in this current inflated market.
5. LB: Alex Telles
This is one of those transfer sagas that have been going on for far too long, though this summer, this dream may become reality. The tenacious and driven Brazilian is coming to the end of his contract with Porto in the Liga NOS, and it may be time for pastures new.
He fits the Frank Lampard meta of the perfect balance of defending and attacking. Seems like the all in one player for just a reported €35million.
6. CDM: N’golo Kante
Yes, this season he hasn’t been the player he once was, but it requires a certain level of intelligence to call for him to be axed. His remarkable defensive awareness and tendency to pop in the box with that odd goal make him every manager’s dream defensive minded midfielder.
And then there’s that smile of his… How can you look at him and tell him that he is no longer needed. He is the essential cog that makes the team tick and who does the dirty work for the others. Kante is a must if Chelsea want to fight for major honours.
7. CM: Mateo Kovacic
Chelsea’s Player of the Season. He’s proved his early doubters wrong after stellar performances week in week out. The way he glides past players and breaks those rigid defenses is truly mesmerizing. He has to be in the first eleven next season or we riot.
8. CAM: Hakim Ziyech
The Moroccan Genius. The Amsterdam Wizard. His magical left foot can only be bettered by a selected few, and it is a surprise how Chelsea were able to acquire his services for a lowly €40 million when a player of his caliber can be worth so much more.
Some say his physicality will not let him dominate the major leagues, but given his remarkable run with Ajax in the Champions League in 2018/19 and consistent showings in the Eredevise over the last four years, there’s no reason why he can’t be the next David Silva.
9. LW: Christian Pulisic
The €60million acquisition from last season has flown under the radar this season, largely thanks to his injury concerns. Regardless, when he’s given a good run of games and is given the opportunity to get inside and free roam, he is simply unstoppable (ask James Tarkowski and Sean Dyche).
If he can return to peak physical condition, he will surely repay the Stamford Bridge faithful with 10/10 performances whenever he’s called upon.
10. RW: Jadon Sancho
He is on everyone’s wish-list, but Chelsea are a part of a selected few who can afford him. His €120million price tag hasn’t forced Chelsea to back off, as they are still in the race for his signature with Manchester United. With 14 goals and 15 assists in the Bundesliga this season, he has truly remarkable numbers for a youngster (even seasoned professionals can’t keep up with him).
His pace and ability to beat a man are craved for in the English capital, and Chelsea hope to beat their rivals for his signature
11. ST: Tammy Abraham
With 15 goals in all competitions this season, Chelsea have finally found their replacement for Diego Costa. Tammy is reminiscent of Didier Drogba, with his height and blistering pace and hold up play largely contributing to his success.
Chelsea may want to acquire an experienced back up to compliment him, but it is unlikely anyone will be able to knock him off his starting berth if he continues to defy the odds and becomes the ultimate marksman.