June 3, 2023


With Chelsea’s search for a new owner seemingly moving ever closer, whoever that may be needs to be ready for what is shaping up to be a crucial summer in the club’s future

The rest of the footballing world may have seen Chelsea’s defeat to relegation-threatened Everton as a shock on Sunday afternoon. However, Chelsea fans were almost expecting a lacklustre performance from their side, which is exactly what they witnessed at Goodison Park.

After a below-par showing at Old Trafford less than three days before, the feeling among the Chelsea fan base was down. It was one of pessimism and plenty of hope that the Blues could come out and surprise them at Everton. That was not the case, though.

It was a poor display from the visitors on Merseyside. Bar a quick-fire succession of three golden chances not too long after Richarlison scored the match’s only goal, Chelsea barely threatened 18th-placed Everton.
Chelsea are now in serious danger of limping towards the finish line in a season that promised so much but has ultimately plummeted in recent months – on and off the pitch. The news of Roman Abramovich resigning from his position as the club’s owner happened right before the Carabao Cup final with Liverpool towards the end of February.

The Russian announced that he would be taking a step back from the club’s board, and a couple of weeks later, he was sanctioned by the UK Government – something that has caused havoc in recent weeks for Chelsea. It has complicated the search for a new owner, as well as the availability of tickets for Chelsea supporters up and down the country.
The aforementioned Carabao Cup final would have set up a tremendous end to the season for the Blues. Liverpool, however, won a dramatic penalty shootout at Wembley.
That could have been the first of a possible domestic double for Chelsea, with the side now in the FA Cup final. This is not the case, though, and for the Blues, a win in the FA Cup final and a top-four place is the best possible outcome now.

The latter is not certain, and Thomas Tuchel knows. “I said many weeks ago that I did not ever feel safe,” the Chelsea head coach said in his post-match press conference on Sunday.

“We are never safe. By the way, if we are in a race for top one, top two, or top four, no matter what the race, the last four games to only have four points will never be enough, no matter which race we are in. We have to take care of ourselves.”
Chelsea can ill afford to miss out on a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Next up for the Blues is Wolves at Stamford Bridge at the weekend, and anything but three points there is unacceptable.

What we saw from the Blues at Everton on Sunday can serve as a reminder to the new owners, if at all needed, that a major squad rebuild is needed in the upcoming summer transfer window. Chelsea have two players in, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who see their contracts with the club expire at the end of the season. They both look set to leave and picture both of those defenders gone. That leaves Chelsea with eight players (Marcus Bettinelli, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley and Kenedy) whose contracts expire in the summer of 2023. Bar Silva, it is not completely unrealistic to see the rest offloaded this summer.

Jorginho and Kante, despite both being key figures in Tuchel’s squad, have both been strongly linked with a move away from the club in recent times. Barkley hasn’t had a sniff all season, and neither has Bettinelli or Kenedy since his loan recall in January.

Alonso has played more recently because of Ben Chilwell’s season-ending injury, but he continues to be linked with a return to Spain, with Barcelona said to be keen. As soon as Chilwell returns, Alonso will likely drop out of the side again and could look for more first-team football elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Azpilicueta could also be sold. The Blues captain’s contract was recently extended via an appearance-based clause in his current deal. The extension could protect the Spaniard’s value and avoid losing him on a free transfer (which would have been the case this summer without the clause).

All of these players with just over 12 months left on their deals and have been at the club for a while now. An interesting piece of data, via @chelseayouth on Twitter has emerged that shows each squad member and which (or all) of the last four managers they have played under. Kante, Alonso and Azpilicueta, who all see their contracts expire in just over a year, have played under Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard and Tuchel (Chelsea’s last four managers).

Another thing pointed out on the thread is that the individual mistakes Chelsea has been leaking recently are not a new problem. In fact, each one of Lampard, Sarri and Conte pointed them out during their time at Stamford Bridge.
Interestingly, Tuchel was the latest to bemoan the individual errors that ended up costing Chelsea at Everton. He said: “What can I do? The ball is free, and then we give a goal away.

“It is the worst thing that can happen to you in this atmosphere and situation. It happens too often, and we struggle to play without big mistakes. That’s why we struggle to have results.”

The brutal reality to any new investor walking through the door at Stamford Bridge is that there is a huge summer in front of them. As soon as they put their belongings into their new office, it’s time to get down to business in what could be the biggest summer transfer window in Chelsea’s recent history.


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