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 - FlickrWho 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?
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Image credit - FlickrShock 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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