What positions are Chelsea aiming for in the summer transfer window? What did Thomas Tuchel say? And what do the statistics say?
What positions are Chelsea aiming for?
Melissa Reddy, Sky Sports News senior reporter:
Chelsea are moving ahead with their summer recruitment plans after completing the club’s £4.25billion consortium takeover led by Todd Boehly.
The Blues have already reached a verbal agreement with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.
Talks over a deal for Kounde stalled last year but there is optimism from all quarters that this time it will happen.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe has been shortlisted as a central defender in favor of Thomas Tuchel. Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid and Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig are also among the candidates.
Chelsea like Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but he is expected to end up at Real Madrid. PSV’s Ibrahim Sangare is one of the sought-after alternatives.
What do the stats say about Chelsea?
Chelsea look like they have a shortage of numbers at the centre-back position. Antonio Rudiger is moving to Real Madrid, Andreas Christensen to Barcelona and Cesar Azpilicueta is also expected to leave.
The only remaining first-team centre-backs are Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah. The options don’t inspire much confidence for a variety of reasons. Silva turns 38 in September and Chalobah is still only 22.
What did manager Thomas Tuchel say?
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel after the Blues’ 2-1 win over Watford on the final day:
“We have clear ideas about the profiles and characteristics of these players. It’s not like you put a name on the list and then get the player.
“You have to convince the player, you have to talk to other clubs and convince yourself that’s the right player, so there’s usually a lot of work and it will be the same to be competitive next season while being like everyone else tries to catch up to us while the top two teams are what they are: a benchmark for consistency.
“That’s the situation and from there we’re doing our best to be competitive because that’s what we want to be.”
What should Chelsea do this summer?
Joe Shread, Sky Sports football journalist:
Given that Chelsea were only crowned European champions 12 months ago, it is perhaps surprising to hear Thomas Tuchel speak of the need for a “rebuild” this summer, as he did after his side ended the season with a home win against Watford had finished. But that Champions League triumph in 2021 came out of the blue – Chelsea were fourth in the Premier League that year – and this difficult season has exposed the problems in the head coach’s squad.
While Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola were able to build squads to suit their specific needs, Tuchel had to assemble a group of players signed by six different managers. With Todd Boehly now the time has come to back Tuchel and allow him to build his own squad capable of launching a title challenge for the first time since 2017.
The work has to start in defence, where the departures of Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen need to be replaced by two top-class centre-backs. It could also be time to replace Cesar Azpilicueta – a Chelsea legend but now 32 and reportedly keen on a Spain return – with a more dynamic right-back. The Blues’ reliance on Marcos Alonso – after Ben Chilwell’s injury – has cost them this season and with the left-back also said to be keen on returning to Spain, signing a replacement should be on the to-do list.
In midfield, decisions need to be made about the future of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who is in his 30s with just one year left on contract. Chelsea can’t allow them to go the same route as Rudiger and Christensen and go for free, so she’ll have to decide whether to make them new offers this summer or let them go for a fee. Even if Kante stays, given the amount of time he has been unavailable in recent seasons, a younger option should be sought in the Frenchman’s form.
Attacking is the area of Chelsea’s team that has seen the most investment in recent windows, but the Blues shouldn’t be deterred from bolstering their scoring chances when an opportunity presents itself. The last player to score 20 goals in a season for the club was Eden Hazard and he left the club three years ago so there is clearly room for improvement in that area.