Following the misery of 2022/23, Chelsea supporters are clamouring for mere stability under their new manager in 2023/24.
The Blues boast a mightily talented squad but woeful planning rendered it woefully unbalanced. Thus, Mauricio Pochettino has a huge task on his hands to evolve this Chelsea outfit into one that can once again compete for the biggest honours. Supporters must be patient.
While this will be a summer primarily focused on outgoings, the west London club will continue to bolster their ranks to ensure Poch is given the best opportunity to succeed in year one.
Here’s how Chelsea could look under their new manager in 2023/24.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – The Blues have been linked with several goalkeepers this summer, including Inter’s Andre Onana, but Kepa is expected to remain the club’s number one with Edouard Mendy departing to Saudi Arabia.
RB: Reece James – 2022/23 was a hugely difficult one for James as injuries ruled him out of the World Cup and the end of Chelsea’s disastrous campaign. The defender entered the campaign with many labelling him the best in the world at his position and will be hoping for a bounce-back year in 2023/24.
CB: Wesley Fofana – Chelsea signed Fofana to be their centre-back of the present and future. The Frenchman’s maiden campaign at the club was hindered by injury and inconsistency but there’s no denying the Frenchman’s talent and he’ll be a key man for the new boss, who’ll want to adopt an aggressive defensive line.
CB: Thiago Silva – Poch has several options at his disposal, even with Kalidou Koulibaly making his way out. He could opt for the younger Trevoh Chalobah, but Thiago Silva has just been so reliable and consistent since joining the club that he’ll surely begin the season as Fofana’s partner. His leadership will be of even greater value with Cesar Azpilicueta’s future uncertain.
LB: Ben Chilwell – The former Leicester defender should benefit greatly from Pochettino’s arrival if the 4-2-3-1 dynamic from the manager’s time at Spurs is retained. A whole host of full-backs, including Danny Rose, have excelled under the 51-year-old, and the enterprising Chilwell could be next in line.
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CM: Moises Caicedo – Chelsea emerged as the front runners in the race for the Brighton midfielder after Arsenal dropped out, but they could be priced out of a move. The Seagulls are demanding an high fee and the Blues are said to be looking at alternatives. However, given just how big a signing Caicedo would be for Poch, Chelsea will surely figure out a way of getting it over the line even if it develops into a protracted saga.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – It was a rollercoaster campaign for the elegant midfielder that undoubtedly peaked before he joined Chelsea in January. The World Cup winner’s start to life at Stamford Bridge was tricky given the club’s instability, but many were impressed with the £106m man’s opening act in west London. The addition of a defensively sound midfield partner would further unlock the Argentine.
RW: Noni Madueke – Madueke departed Tottenham while Pochettino was at the club in 2018 but he returned to London in January after the Blues made their move. The winger’s start to life at Stamford Bridge was mixed and he certainly isn’t the most refined of talents, but there’s enough for the Argentine to work with and Madueke may find himself as an early starter under the incoming boss.
AM: Christopher Nkunku – With Kai Havertz Arsenal-bound and Mason Mount potentially on his way to Man Utd, Nkunku is a player the new manager desperately needs. The Frenchman can play a myriad of roles and Poch could utilise him across his front four, but he’s currently Poch’s best option for the #10 role in his favoured 4-2-3-1. Nkunku has all the minerals needed to excel in the Premier League.
LW: Raheem Sterling – The England international performed pretty well during his debut season, and he’ll be hoping to be a part of a much more coherent Chelsea outfit in 2023/24. The multi-faceted Sterling could operate as an outlet for Poch’s Blues or a ball-to-feet winger capable of retaining possession in the final third. Overall, he could be invaluable to the new boss, even if a certain Mykhailo Mudryk is waiting in the wings.
ST: Nicolas Jackson – The young Senegalese forward boasts a profile Poch appreciates and he may well start 2023/24 as Chelsea’s leading man given the current dearth of options. Jackson joins the club off the back of a breakout season at Villarreal during which he scored 12 times in La Liga.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Toby Cudworth is joined by Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss the latest transfer news. On the agenda is Arsenal’s approach for Jurrien Timber, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, the exodus of Chelsea players to Saudi Arabia, Moises Caicedo, Kyle Walker, Man Utd’s goalkeeper plans & more!
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