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Window Shopping: Chelsea

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In our next instalment of our regular feature counting down to the January transfer window, we examine FA Cup holders Chelsea.

Summer Review:

A summer that started with absolute turmoil for Chelsea: Eden Hazard expressing interest to follow Thibaut Courtois out the door and a manager determined to resist sacking without a hefty pay-off- ended in spectacular fashion as they smashed the world record fee for a goalkeeper for the second time in the summer. So far, Kepa has proved worth every penny with impressive shot-stopping and distribution. Midfield maestro Jorginho has orchestrated attacks left right and centre in a new, fluid possession-based team under Maurizio Sarri. Mateo Kovacic has also aptly filled a midfield spot last year occupied by Bakayoko or Drinkwater. What a difference a year makes.

Image credit - Flickr

Who comes in?

Although Sarri has spoken publicly about developing his own players, behind the scenes he is clearly determined to mould the squad in his image. A new striker and wideman seem to be top of the shopping list, although a right-back and centre back aren’t too far behind. The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Christian Pulisic, Cengiz Under, Milan Skriniar and Elseid Hysaj are just some of the names linked to the Blues.

Who goes out?

Having begun something of a clear-out in the summer, expect this to continue. Victor Moses has been displaced by the system change and seems certain to leave along with Danny Drinkwater, who rarely gets close to the matchday squads. Cesc Fabregas, not getting any younger will consider his options. Both Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen have been linked with moves away as they grow frustrated over lack of game time. Finally, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu both might get the chance to go out on loan. Davide Zappacosta looks likely to return to Italy as well.  

Shock signing?

Chelsea have always thrived off strikers who can produce the goods and unfortunately, Alvaro Morata has not been able to fill the boots of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba. If Sarri gets a chance, expect him to bring in a real fighter up top and no one would fit that bill better than Argentinian hitman Mauro Icardi. Although Inter Milan would want North of £100m to sign the bombastic front-man, he would provide the thirty-goal-a-season centre forward that Chelsea need to really compete in the league and Champions League again.

Image credit - Flickr

Shock departure?

After an excellent loan spell last season, everyone expected Ruben Loftus-Cheek to return to the Chelsea fold and secure a regular starting berth. However, the form of Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic has meant Loftus-Cheek has found minutes hard to come by and although he has looked good in off-the-bench cameos and in the Europa League, he has criticised the club for a lack of game time. You suspect Chelsea have little room for sentiment and if the right offer came in, the boy from the academy might be on his way.

Summary

Maurizio Sarri has already begun a colossal shift at Chelsea, transforming them from defense and counter attack to possession-based attacking football known as ‘Sarriball’. They need to secure Champions League this year to help the Italian continue his rebuild and with the right signings, you’d expect it to happen.

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