With the summer transfer window swiftly approaching, football.london takes a look at the ideal outcome heading into the 2022/23 season
It’s difficult to remember a summer transfer window that felt so enormous for Chelsea Football Club. Todd Boehly’s consortium are expected to be announced officially as the club’s new ownership group in the near future, and they are set to have a huge job on their hands very early on in their tenure at Stamford Bridge.
The 2021/22 season has now reached its climax. It felt like an age, especially in the campaign’s second half of the season. 63 matches for the Blues across all competitions, and it’s now time for some much-deserved rest for the players, the staff and also the supporters.
The last few matches of the season saw an out-of-sorts Chelsea team. The Blues won five of their last ten matches of the season in all competitions as they stumbled across the line to record a third-place finish.
The gap between Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table right now seems massive. The disappointing end to the season for Chelsea may have some positives for Thomas Tuchel and his backroom staff, though, as it may make some of their decisions that little bit easier in the summer transfer window.
There could well be a max exodus of some of the fringe members within the Chelsea squad and some of the first-team players whose contract situations are up in the air. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are definitely leaving the club, while the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Ross Barkley, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are nearly into their final 12 months of their respective contracts.
As well as this, plenty of attacking players could seek to leave over the summer. Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku have all been strongly linked with departures in the summer.
Outgoings or not, Chelsea needs to act on the incoming front. Major surgery of the squad is needed to improve their chances in the Premier League next season.
With all of this being said, football.london looks at what would be the ‘best-case scenario’ for Chelsea in the summer transfer window in terms of additions to the squad. Let us know in the comment section whether you agree or not…
With Rudiger and Christensen, perhaps Azpilicueta, leaving, Chelsea needs to address the centre-back position. If those three were to all depart, then Tuchel would be left with Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva as natural options to play across a back-three. Of course, Levi Colwill may return to his parent club as well.
Jules Kounde seems the obvious option. The Blues came extremely close to signing the Sevilla defender last summer, but the Spanish club was playing hard ball with the talented Frenchman’s valuation.
Chelsea are once again interested in Kounde, but Barcelona could cause a few problems this time around. Barca boss Xavi is interested in a move for the long-term Blues target, according to reports in Spain.
The relationships Chelsea built last summer, though, could serve them well this time around. Numerous reports suggested that Kounde had his heart set on a move to Stamford Bridge almost 12 months ago, and Chelsea will be hoping he isn’t lured by other clubs this time around.
In recent weeks, Chelsea has been linked with a move for RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol. The Croatian has been impressive in the Bundesliga for Leipzig since making the move to the German club last summer and has attracted attention from across Europe.
The 20-year-old still has around four years remaining on his contract at the Red Bull Arena, but Leipzig have notoriously been a selling club over the years. If Chelsea were to come in with an offer too good to turn down, then he could well be at Stamford Bridge next season.
Recent reports suggested that Gvardiol’s father, Timohir, has already held discussions with Tuchel regarding a possible move to England this summer. The same report adds that Chelsea are preparing an offer of around £42million in the coming months.
Gvardiol is left-footed and very comfortable and composed when playing the ball out of defence. This means, theoretically, he could move onto the left-hand side of a Chelsea back-three and replace Rudiger. At such a young age, too, this could be a shrewd piece of business from Chelsea.
Chelsea need that enforcer in their midfield. At one stage, Aurelien Tchouameni looked as if he could be that person. The Frenchman is a long-term target for the Blues, football.london understands, but it now looks as if a move to Real Madrid is the more likely outcome.
Declan Rice is everything Chelsea need. He’s a very popular figure among the Blues’ fan base on social media websites, with some fans desperate for the west Londoners to make their long-awaited move this summer.
Rice enjoyed another fantastic season for West Ham United, who are understandably determined to keep him at the London Stadium for another campaign at least. Reports suggest that Rice has turned down numerous contract offers for the Hammers, though.
As it stands, the likelihood looks to be that Chelsea would be priced out of a move for Rice. West Ham are said to be demanding north of £100m for their midfielder’s signature, but things could become more interesting should the England international push for an exit from the east Londoners.
Christopher Nkunku is a target for Chelsea, football.london understands, with the RB Leipzig attacker being scouted by the Premier League club for a while now. The Frenchman was recently crowned the Bundesliga Player of the Season after a tremendous campaign in Germany.
Nkunku can play anywhere across the front-line, which surely makes him an extremely attractive proposition for Tuchel. His speed and pressing is something that would suit Tuchel’s ideology, as well, with Leipzig playing with a high-pressing system in Germany.
There are a number of attackers Chelsea have been linked with, but Nkunku is the one that might make the most sense. The 24-year-old still has plenty of time to develop and could become one of European football’s most sought-after talents with the right guidance.
Plenty of Blues supporters have expressed their concern and worries about possibly signing Nkunku. Many think he could be another Timo Werner in terms of flourishing in the Bundesliga and then failing to replicate such form in the Premier League. However, not every talented attacker who signs from Germany goes on to fail in England.