Podcast: Roman Abramovich is selling the club!

Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter! The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter!
  2. Mount shines against Bournemouth & Enzo Fernandez to the Blues?!

In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Orlando (Admin – @0rland1nho) to discuss the crazy last week surrounding Chelsea. Talking about Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool, our instant reaction to Abramovich’s statement that he is selling the club, the problems hidden in the 4-0 win over Burnley and looking forward to Norwich on Thursday.

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Are Chelsea’s Centre-Back’s The Key To Unlocking Romelu Lukaku ?

It is definitely safe to say that Romelu Lukaku’s time at Chelsea has been underwhelming at best and not only his goal scoring has been sub-par but it is his general play that is the most worrying. Everyone has seen the graphic about Lukaku having just 7 touches vs Crystal Palace and it is alarming for him as an individual player and the team itself. Countless times you will see our attackers look up directly at Lukaku when he is in a position to receive it and just turn out and play sideways or backwards. If you focus solely on Lukaku throughout a match, he does often raise his hand indicating he wants the ball and will usually follow this with a slight run in behind before the player with the ball does the aforementioned turn out and play elsewhere. This then results in the classic Lukaku sulk that usually sees him just standing offside for at least a few seconds as he trots back towards the last defender.

In recent weeks our centre-backs have begun following this trend of not playing the ball to Lukaku when he is a favourable option. Below is a kind of example that I speak of. If you don’t go to games you unfortunately don’t have the ability to see most of the actions Lukaku does but trust me, he does actually make smart runs and clearly indicates when he wants the ball.

Image Source : The Athletic

Obviously I have no inkling as to what passes and patterns of play that our centre-backs are stipulated to play but it really looks like they avoid playing passes to our front players religiously. This snapshot was taken in the 7th minute and I do understand the famous tactic of keep it simple for the first 10 or so. However, in a stalemate game like this one as it was for so long, you have to make a few risks here and there. Rudiger is a man that lives by calculated risks, the infamous Rudiger run that opens up passing lanes and space and his long shots from outside the box are synonymous with his play style. I would love for Rudiger to try more chipped balls in behind the defence and passes into Lukaku’s feet as he attempts to hold it up.

One of the main issues with our centre-backs playing passes in behind is the low-block style that nearly every team implements when we play them. Chelsea’s main nemesis this year has been teams we should wipe the floor with, implementing a low-block that stifles our attack. If I was an opposition manager setting up in a low-block 4-4-2 or 5-4-1 would be an easy option and many managers in the League have thought this way also. The low-block system limits the space in behind and makes the game more centrally. Meaning no space in behind for runs and more players centrally in the way between Rudiger, Silva or Christensen getting the ball into the feet of Lukaku.

Image Source : The Athletic

The picture above is a perfect example of where a calculated risk should be taken by Rudiger. Toni is certainly skilled enough to attempt this pass and pull it off and I feel that more risks taken like this will greatly increase our chances to score.

In games like the Crystal Palace one, the time the centre-backs have on the ball is heavily evident and I would love to see the statistics on how much time our centre-backs are actually in possession of the ball. A few more risks sprinkled into the style of Rudiger and Christensen would be ideal.

Havertz and Lukaku utilised together upfront is an option that has become available in the last few games for Tuchel and having a bigger man to make runs off of could elevate Havertz to an even further level. Havertz is the first choice number 9 for Chelsea at the moment and in the game vs Burnley we could see a few more longer range passes coming into play. Burnley played with a higher line than usual and especially in the first half looked to go toe-to-toe with Chelsea. Lukaku could have had a field day in behind that defence but has a long way to go before solidifying his place over an in-form Kai Havertz.

Written by Frankie

Podcast: We’re back | Chelsea 3-3 Zenit Review

Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter! The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter!
  2. Mount shines against Bournemouth & Enzo Fernandez to the Blues?!

We are so so so sorry for the 7 week 8 week break… but we’re back! In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) & Orlando (Admin – @0rland1nho) gave their instant reactions to Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Zenit in the Champions League. They also discussed Rudiger’s contract situation, Levi Colwill’s future at the club, the front three dilemma, calling back Maatsen in January, as well as previewing this weekend’s game against Leeds and the FA Youth Cup fixture against Leyton Orient!

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30th July 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Kurt Zouma

Another player that West Ham are interested in is Kurt Zouma. Chelsea are believed to value the Frenchman at £30million but that is a figure that West Ham are unlikely to be able to afford. (Football London)

Tino Livramento

Livramento is expcted to leave Chelsea “imminently”. (Football London)

Jules Kounde

Chelsea are prepared to do whatever it takes to sign Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde this summer.

Kounde’s France team-mate is of more interest to the La Liga club but there are still complications in this regard. The 26-year-old Zouma is settled in London and is now subject of interest from West Ham.

“Chelsea want Kounde no matter what. He has been earmarked as a player they have been wanting to buy for the past two years. Zouma is the player that is being looked at to go the other way, but Chelsea are going to try and find a way to get this done regardless.” (The Athletic)

Ian Maatsen

Ian Maatsen has joined Coventry City on loan for the upcoming season.

Maatsen impressed in League One at Charlton and has now stepped up to the Championship with Coventry.Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher has completed a move to Crystal Palace that will see him spend the 2021/22 campaign on loan at Selhurst Park.

In a relatively young Palace side, Gallagher will provide youthful experience to the side from South London.

Image Source : Crystal Palace

Hakim Ziyech

AC Milan have maintained contacts with the entourage of Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech and the player seems tempted by a new experience, a report claims.

AC Milan seemingly have good relations with Chelsea after quick and swift moves with Giroud and Tomori. (SempreMilan)

Andreas Christensen

It is also understood that Sevilla are admirers of Christensen, but Chelsea are looking to keep the Denmark international.

Chelsea have opened talks over a contract extension following the 25-year-old’s fine form in 2021.

Christensen can discuss a pre-contract with foreign clubs from January and leave on a free transfer next summer. (The Athletic)

Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger can discuss a pre-contract with foreign clubs from January and leave on a free transfer next summer.

Rudiger wants to be made one of Chelsea’s highest-paid players. He was also not prepared to hold new talks until he returned from his break following the European Championship with Germany. (The Athletic)

Written by Frankie

22nd July 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Timo Werner

Chelsea are not expecting to sell Timo Werner this summer. (Kevin Palmer)

His name has been mentioned in a potential swap deal but this is apparently fake news.

Sasa Kalajdžić

Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat isn’t worried about the latest rumours of Chelsea and other sides looking at Kalajdžić.

“Sasa still has a two-year contract with us and feels right at home. You can see that. He’s been training in VfB clothes all summer. I’m not that worried about that, to be honest,” said Mislintat. (portWitness)

Michy Batshuayi

Inter Milan see Batshuayi as an option in terms of bringing in a new striker.

Batshuayi does not ‘warm’ Inters management.

If Inter progress with the deal they see Giroud’s transfer as the perfect layout for their swoop on the Belgian. They would hope the deal would only cost a few million. (SportWitness)

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski has long been in Chelsea’s thoughts and interest could be revived as Chelsea continue their search for a goalscorer.

The 32-year-old could be tempted with a move away this summer for a new experience. (Goal)

Harry Kane

Harry Kane will assess his future when he returns from holiday.

However, Daniel Levy makes the club extremely hard to work with, which could hinder the potential of Kane joining Chelsea. (Goal)

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger

The defensive pairing have just one year left on their deals and talks around new contracts for the two have not progressed. (Goal)

Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea have the option to extend Emerson’s contract by a year.

This helps to justify the Blues asking price of around £22m. (Nizaar Kinsella)

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham is admired by several influential voices inside Arsenal, including Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal see Abraham as a potential target this summer.

Abraham is understood to be aware of Arsenal’s interest, and would be open to the prospect of a move across London.

Arsenal have the preference of a loan deal with an option to buy. If this kind of deal were to go through, Chelsea would put the fee at around £40m.

Tammy Abraham moving to Arsenal is reliant on outgoings from the Emirates.

The transfer of Alexandre Lacazette away from Arsenal would make the signing of Tammy Abraham more likely and more logical. (The Athletic)Declan Rice

“The more you talk to people about the Declan Rice situation, the more you think a move could still happen in this window. He has made it very clear to West Ham that he won’t sign a new deal & as reported elsewhere, wants to be kept informed of any bids. Would clearly favour Chelsea over any other club.” (Simon Johnson)

Eden Hazard

There is nothing in regards to a potential move back to West London for Eden Hazard. (Simon Johnson)

Lewis Bate

The deal between Leeds and Lewis Bate was confirmed today.

He’ll join their U23’s for this upcoming season.

It is possible Bate was lured away due to the project that Leeds are undergoing as of this moment, with signings like Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and Joe Gelhardt all on the brink of first team chances.

Sergio Romero

Chelsea are stepping up their search for a third-choice goalkeeper and have Sergio Romero on their list of candidates. (The Telegraph)

Romero is a free agent and would sign for Chelsea in a free transfer.

The 34-year-old Argentinian is the perfect player to bring in as a third choice. He has a lot of experience that can be passed down to his younger counterparts and he is perfectly capable of stepping in when needed.

Written by Frankie

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid: Match Preview

Atlético Madrid 0-1 Chelsea: Champions League, last-16 first leg – as it  happened | Football | The Guardian
Chelsea celebrate Giroud’s spectacular strike in the first leg (Image credit: The Guardian)

The Champions League is back on our screens, and back in London for Chelsea’s Round of 16 Second Leg against Liga BBVA superstars Atletico Madrid. A special competition with a mammoth amount at stake, and our beloved Blues have the upper hand heading into this encounter.

Chelsea managed to secure the upper hand thanks to a moment of pure magic by Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman took advantage if a miss kick from Mario Hermoso, and guided the ball into the back of the net with a tremendous bicycle kick that stunned almost everyone who saw it.

Heading into the first leg, Atletico had a sudden dip in form that may have tipped the odds in Chelsea’s favour. This time around, Atletico have bounced back, and are unbeaten in their last four games. The Spaniards are also unbeaten in their last six away games, which may persuade Diego Simeone’s men to throw everything at Chelsea.

The form of Chelsea is also admirable, with the South London side now unbeaten in 13 games. Thomas Tuchel has revamped the entire Chelsea squad, which will give the fans a glimmer of hope heading into this tie. The away goal that Chelsea scored in the first leg will also give the Blues a certain edge that may push them through to the next round.

Chelsea press conference live: Thomas Tuchel on Sheffield United win,  Werner and Pulisic's absence - football.london
Chelsea’s new boss making the Blues look a serious threat (Image credit: Football.London)

Player updates and news:

Four Chelsea players will be unavailable for the Round of 16 clash, with Tammy Abraham and Thiago Silva still not fit for action. Tuchel revealed that the side has no fresh injuries, but the aforementioned duo are still nursing their injuries, but should be available for action following the international break.

Jorginho and Mason Mount will also miss the game, after both receiving yellow cards in the reverse fixture, which will act as a colossal blow for the Blues.

As for the visitors, a fully fit squad will be present in London, with all previously injured players returning.

Predicted Lineup:

Champions League: Chelsea without key quartet for Atletico Madrid tie -  Football Espana
Callum Hudson Odoi has a point to prove to Thomas Tuchel (Image credit: Football Espana)

Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Hudson Odoi, Werner, Giroud.

The only thing up for debate here is the front three. We may also see Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic make a start, but Olivier Giroud has to start against Atletico’s strong defence, with the Frenchman securing the upper hand for Chelsea previously.

Players to watch:

Andreas Christensen enjoying Lampard's trust, sees his future at Chelsea -  We Ain't Got No History
Our very own rock at the back (Image credit: We Ain’t Got No History)

Andreas Christensen: A defender this time, which is unusual for me. Andreas has been an absolute rock at the back in recent weeks, and the Dane has been a standout performer in almost every game. The centre half has taken Thiago Silva’s place and has performed way up to standard, with it now becoming even harder to see where Thiago will fit back into the side, which is a brilliant problem to have. Christensen will be essential to this game, and my eyes will certainly be fixed on him.

Joao Felix: The Portuguese international was kept relatively quiet in the first leg, which helped Chelsea out immensely. It is unlikely that lightning will strike twice, however, and Felix will be fixed on helping Atletico progress to the Quarter Finals. Felix will have the speed advantage over the Chelsea backline, which may cause issues for Edouard Mendy. The Blues will hope to keep Felix quiet.

Written by @mashgreaves

Christensen: From the next John Terry to defensive liability

When Chelsea’s ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ himself picked a successor to his crown as the club’s leading centre half, fans everywhere sat up and took notice. So, when John Terry described Andreas Christensen as a ‘top footballer’ and ‘one of the future men for Chelsea’ back in 2014, many would have expected him to have nailed down a starting slot long before now. Terry even went so far as to say that the Danish international should be ‘hungry to take my place in the team’, but that is something that has never truly materialised. After dropping to fourth choice centre back at the club and following his latest high-profile error against Aston Villa, it is time to question whether Christensen has a future at Stamford Bridge. 

With Chelsea 1-0 up against Aston Villa at the break and looking for a win to nudge them out of a mini crisis, an early goal conceded in controversial fashion was hardly what Frank Lampard was looking for. Yet with Aston Villa attacking on the break, Christensen went down following contact from nimble playmaker Jack Grealish as both contested possession of the ball. Play continuedbut whilst the much slighter Grealish got up and carried on, the 6-foot 1-inch-tall centre back remained on the floor. Half a minute later Villa had scored as a stretched Chelsea defence did not have the numbers to commit a man to mark Anwar El Ghazi and prevent him from freely knocking in an equaliser at the back post. The match finished 1-1 and to make matters even worse for Christensen, his hero rather bluntly put him down on social media following the final whistle. Replying to a comment under his latest Instagram post accusing Aston Villa of poor sportsmanship in continuing when the opposition were a man down, Terry (currently assistant manager at Villa) stated that his former teammate should have ‘got up’. Having already been sent off for a rugby-tackle style foul on Sadio Mane at Stamford Bridge earlier this season – costing his side in a 2-0 loss to the reigning Champions – the Dane is hardly inspiring confidence in Chelsea fans.  

None of this was in the script when Antonio Conte integrated Christensen into a three-man defence in the 2017/18 season. Coming off the back of an excellent couple of seasons on loan in the Bundesliga at Borussia Monchengladbach, a then 21-year-old Christensen finally got his chance in a Chelsea shirt, just as Terry was leaving Stamford Bridge following his move to Aston Villa. 23 starts in all competitions gave fans a reason to be excited in the youngster, who was one of a few bright sparks in an otherwise horrible campaign as Conte left the London side in a mess. Quickly it became apparent that Christensen would become the side’s new David Luiz figure, as the fiery Brazilian was shunned from the side following a falling out with the manager. The Dane’s distribution was likened to Luiz, and he stood out as one of the finest passers of the ball in the league, with a 93.4% passing accuracy across the season. However, playing as part of a defensive three covered up a multitude of failing in the Dane’s game which were exposed when new coach Maurizio Sarri implemented a back four.

Christensen has always stood out for his excellent ability with the ball at his feet, Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

The evidence was perhaps there all along that Christensen was not the centre back Chelsea fans always hoped he could be. His break-out season’s tackle success rate of 53.3% was low but not disastrous, as Antonio Rudiger and Gary Cahill were there to help him out. However, Sarri did not have faith in the former prodigy to lead his defence and so Christensen made only 6 starts in the Premier League that season, having to be content with being a Europa League regular. His tackling ability appeared to decline further, with only 42% of his attempted challenges being successful in the league that season. For context, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva has completed 64% of his challenges so far this season. Christensen was rapidly building a reputation for being a wonderful passer capable of playing out from the back, but a player who was far too light-weight and error-prone to be successful in the Premier League.

Low on confidence, a season of being constantly thrown in and dragged out of Lampard’s side in 2019/20 certainly was not what Christensen would have hoped for. Whilst his fellow academy graduates Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham made themselves indispensable to the side with consistently excellent performances, Christensen became a scapegoat for one of the worst Chelsea defences in the Premier League era, as the side concede 54 goals (over three times more than the vintage of the 2004/05 season). Starting 21 league games, he would be dropped for between one and five games on five separate occasions. This lack of consistent game time seemed to spell the end for Christensen.

The signing of Thiago Silva, ‘O Monstro’ on a free from PSG this summer has transformed the Chelsea defence into a different beast. With Kurt Zouma looking back to his rejuvenated best and performing at scarcely believable levels in the air, game time is hard to come by for the rest of the Blue’s centre backs. Despite being left out of the match day squad for 4 consecutive league games, Rudiger seems to be back in favour with Lampard and currently sits above Christensen in the pecking order, which could result in him starting a fair few games across the season as the 36-year-old Silva’s game time is closely managed. The delayed European Championships are due to commence this summer and Christensen will be desperate for a run of game time to stake his claim as a starter at the tournament. However, such an opportunity seems unlikely to arise at Chelsea, so could we be seeing the last of the Dane at Stamford Bridge?

Much has been made of Christensen’s seeming lack of physicality, often leading to him being labelled as ‘light weight’, Photo Credit: Football 365

A tidy, ball-playing centre back will always draw attention on the continent, so it is no surprise to see Christensen linked with top 6 sides in Spain, France and Germany (via the Athletic). It will be a great shame to see such a talented academy graduate depart but it could be for the best. Fikayo Tomori is already frustrated with his lack of first team football and Marc Guehi is developing at a frightening rate on loan at Swansea this season and will surely soon be knocking on Lampard’s door asking for regular game time.

Ultimately Christensen’s lack of physicality and seeming inability to mark big, physical forwards in the ilk of Michail Antonio and Christian Benteke, has been his undoing. For every excellent performance against the likes of Manchester City at home last season (playing without a recognised centre forward, allowing Christensen to excel against physically weaker opponents), there was a horror show (see West Ham, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and more). His Chelsea story began when John Terry’s came to an end and perhaps fans were too keen to see their captain’s boots filled immediately and the pressure got to a young Christensen, but for whatever reason he has been unable to fulfil his massive potential. Maybe one day we will see him excelling at one of Europe’s biggest sides, but for now it is difficult to see a future in which Christensen remains at his boyhood club.

Written by Danny New

Ranking Chelsea’s 20/21 squad from ‘Star Player’ to ‘Must Be Sold!’

Chelsea have already confirmed the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and are expected to have a busy transfer window with the club looking to offload a number of squad players.

But where do the new signings rank amongst the squad? Who should be starting every week? Who needs to be sold?

Well, here’s my rankings from “Star player” down to “Must be sold”

Tier List made via tiermaker.com

As you can see, the list is quite ‘bottom heavy’ with a large number of players thrown into the must be sold category. The likes of Bakayoko, Batshuayi and Pedro feature as they look destined to be moved on by the club and I doubt many Chelsea fans would disagree. There are, however, some admittedly controversial picks in this tier.

Jorginho is a player who has drastically divided the fanbase ever since he signed for the club in 2018. Since the restart, Jorginho has been out-of-favour and Chelsea managed to win four out of the five league games in which the Italian midfielder didn’t start, scoring an impressive 12 goals in the process. Due to injuries to both N’Golo Kanté and Billy Gilmour, Lampard was forced to hand Jorginho his first start against Sheffield United and The Blues were thumped 3-0 with many describing the performance as the “worst of the season” and Jorginho faced the brunt of the criticism due to a lacklustre display. Despite beating Norwich 1-0, Chelsea put in another fairly disappointing display which lacked urgency, tempo and attacking quality. Yet again, Jorginho started this game and for me, he’s a big part of the problem.

I personally don’t dislike Antonio Rudiger as much as most Chelsea fans seem to. I think he does offer some leadership and certainly has a physical presence which most of his peers lack, however if I’m being completely honest (and harsh) he simply cannot defend.

Image Source: Chelsea-News.co
He’s a central defender… who can’t defend!

So, not only do I think Rudiger should be moved on but I also believe his calamitous partner Andreas Christensen has had more than enough chances at the club. These two are an actual comedy spectacle when they line up next to each other and while Andreas is still young and could improve, I just don’t think he’s suited to be a Premier League centre-half. Although he’s welcome to prove me wrong!

Finally from the bottom tier, Kepa has to be sold. I’ve never witnessed a goalkeeper at the top level struggle to stop shots so badly. The club are reportedly interested in Jan Oblak and Andre Onana, both of whom would massively improve our squad, so Arrizabalaga has to go.

Just as a caveat, Willian has been included in the ‘must be sold’ category solely based on his contract situation, otherwise I’d be happy for him to stick around for a year as a squad player.

The boys in the ‘loan’ list are fairly self explanatory. The teenage lads from the academy could do with a season on loan in the Championship or even League 1 to get acclimated with senior football. I’ve chucked Kenedy in there too just because I think he’s hugely underrated so I’d like the club to keep him on the books, but it looks likely that he’ll be leaving on a permanent basis.

Image Source: Sportskeeda

The squad players section was fairly easy for me. Not all 23 first-teamers can be ‘world class’ (unless you’re Manchester City) so we need a solid bench consisting of players who can come into the squad when needed and make an impact. Players who “offer something different” are key throughout a squad and the likes of Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso all tick that box. Giroud has proven his value since the restart and is still a goal threat, while Barkley has actually impressed at times throughout the season and by all accounts works extremely hard to improve himself. The reason I’d keep Alonso around is because he gives us the option to switch to a three-at-the-back system whereas Emerson, for me, just offers very little.

There’s absolutely no reason why both Billy Gilmour and Tammy Abraham cannot be starters next season. They both have the quality as they have proven already, but due the signing of Timo Werner and Lampard moving Kanté into a deeper role, I think that they may not be nailed on to start week-in week-out next year but both will certainly play a crucial role in the long-term.

The regular starters that I’ve selected are a perfect blend of youth and experience in my opinion. Azpilicueta has proven to still be a quality captain and player throughout the season and I believe that Frank Lampard is a big fan of the spaniard, Reece James is also battling for the same position though and deserves to be a starter so we may see ‘Dave’ continue to feature as a left-back. However, if we do sign Tagliafico, Telles, Chilwell or whoever it may be then that could knock one of Azpilicueta or James down a tier.

It’s pretty much impossible to fit all of Kovacic, Mount and Loftus-Cheek into one starting eleven but all three players offer different skill sets which are incredibly valuable to this Chelsea side. Mason Mount has been the club’s player of the season for me, his quality both on and off the ball is outstanding and to have contributed so much in his debut Premier League season is hugely impressive. He’s absolutely key to Frank’s system and therefore should and will start the majority of games next season wether we sign Havertz or not.

Image Source: 90min

I honestly believe that a fully fit Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of the best players in the Premier League. He’s the definition of ‘complete midfielder’ and can offer both a goal threat and be a creative outlet. His physical strength combined with immense technical ability when in full flight makes him a defender’s nightmare and if he can get back to his best next season then he has to be a starter.

Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have both suffered injury problems as of late but are two of England’s brightest talents. Zouma and Tomori’s partnership in the first half of the season was far from perfect but was certainly the most encouraging central defensive set-up we’ve seen. Chelsea fans rightly love Hudson-Odoi and despite all of his off-the-pitch issues this season he has the quality to set the standard for young Premier League players next season.

Werner, Ziyech, Pulisic, Kantè. Is that the best “big four” since the Warriors lined up with Curry, Thompson, Draymond and KD?

Edit by @AAZChelsea

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are nailed on to be top, top players next season for Chelsea. They’re two of the most dynamic and exciting players in the Premier League and will improve Chelsea’s already strong attack ten-fold. Christian Pulisic’s form since the restart has all Blues fans convinced that he’s the real deal, adding goals to his game and beginning to remind fans of a certain Eden Hazard due to his immense dribbling ability. N’Golo Kanté’s inclusion as a star player needs no justification, despite injury issues this year he’s clearly a world class player who would start for any and every team in Europe.

So, that’s my personal ranking of next season’s Chelsea squad. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know @TheChelseaSpot

*I (stupidly) forgot to include Ethan Ampadu in this tier list. Personally I’d like to see him as a squad player next season but he could benefit from another loan.

Chelsea’s centreback dilemma: Who should leave?

Chelsea are facing an important summer. After last year’s transfer ban and the winter transfer phase without a new arrival, Chelsea have been forced to step up their efforts in the summer to keep up with the clubs’ rivals. One of Chelsea’s problem areas it its central defense, as we saw this season. Chelsea are conceding way too many goals and this problem has appeased for a number of seasons now. The days when Chelsea were known for its strong defensive capabilities are over and this must change as soon as possible if Chelsea want to compete for titles. A change in the defence is therefore a must. In this article I want to show who I believe has a future at Chelsea and who should leave the club.

Andreas Christensen:

Christensen was under criticism at the beginning of the season but after the new year he was convincing and fought his way into the starting eleven. With his qualities he impressed in recent matches and is in my opinion currently the best centre back at the club. At only 24 years of age he still has room for improvement and is already a great player, he should definitely stay at Chelsea.

I recently wrote an article about where I go even deeper into his qualities and where I justify my high rating for him: HERE

Verdict: STAY

Fikayo Tomori:       

Tomori is one of the surprises of the season. Before the campaign began, he was expected to be loaned out to a Premier League club, but David Luiz’s departure ensured he remained at Chelsea. The fact that Lampard had allowed David Luiz to leave without a replacement is a testament to his confidence in Tomori, whom he coached at Derby County, where he became player of the year last season.

Tomori had to wait three games for his first appearance in the league. Against Sheffield United he got his chance and he impressed immediately, establishing himself in the team. This was followed by many games in the league until December when he suddenly lost his place in the side with Rudiger reaching match fitness. For me, it was surprising that he didn’t play much anymore. He had strong performances including the game against Liverpool in the league but he sometimes shows insecurities and he still has a lot to learn. For example, he sometimes loses the ball very easily in his own half and his positional play still needs to be improved. On the other hand, it must be said that he is still young (22-years-old) and his potential is visible.

He’s definitely a man for the future and he should stay at Chelsea.He was even the best centre back for a while this season and that shows very well what Lampard will think of him. Unfortunately he couldn’t convince recently, being out of the side, but I’m sure that he will develop into a great player.

Verdict: STAY

Image Source: Getty Images

Kurt Zouma:

After a strong season at Everton, Zouma returned to Chelsea in the summer. According to media reports, Everton were so pleased with him that a possible transfer was in the offing. But this idea became unlikely as Chelsea got a transfer ban, David Luiz left the club and Ethan Ampadu left on loan (Red Bull Leipzig). He played many games this season but he recently lost his place in the team to Christensen and Rüdiger.

I have mixed feelings about Zouma. In my opinion he is a good player but sometimes shaky. With his style of play, he doesn’t really fit in with Lampard’s football philosophy. When he gets under pressure, he usually just shoots the ball forward and can’t build up the game properly, that’s a big minus point. But I also see strengths in him. He is fast and physically dominant to many players, exactly what our defense lacks. He is also an experienced player in our team and has shown that he is a good footballer. At just 25-years-old he still has the best years of his career ahead of him and I would like to give him the chance to get back in his best form, like before the serious injury in the 15/16 season.

A new centre back wouldn’t hurt Chelsea, it would even help the rest of the players to get back into their best form and challenge them more. That’s why I would like to keep Zouma for the next season. I certainly see him as a better and more stable player than Rüdiger and I hope he will return to his old strength.

Verdict: STAY

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Antonio Rüdiger:

Finally we come to Rüdiger. Since his move from AS Roma in 2017 he has played many games and integrated well into the team. This season he missed most games due to his injury but he was in the starting eleven immediately after he was fit again. Lately he has been under criticism as Chelsea have conceded too many goals due to mistakes made by the German.

To be honest I’m not a big fan of Rüdiger and I realized pretty soon that he can’t solve our problems in the defense. He is a fast player and a leader but he doesn’t convince me on the pitch. With him in the defense I have the feeling that our team isn’t stable, that’s why I prefer for example Zouma in front of him. It has to be said that he still had good games but unfortunately not many. He has been shaky in many games and that brings insecurity to our defense. Just to give you an example, the last-minute goal against Newcastle was his fault as he didn’t cover his player. Although he is tall, aerial duels are not his strength as well as tackling. To be fair, one of his great strengths is his passing. But overall I see him as the worst centre back at the club and I would definitely sell him as I see Christensen, Tomori and Zouma as the better player than him.

Sky Sports reported that he is in negotiations with Chelsea to extend his contract that would possibly make a sale harder. It was also said that Bayern München and Dortmund are interested in him. If an offer comes in for him I would let him go and get a replacement with this money. I just don’t think that he is good enough for Chelsea.

Verdict: SELL

Image Source: Getty Images

If I could choose who should leave of our four centre backs to make way for a new player it would be Rüdiger. He couldn’t convince me during his time at Chelsea and he showed his weaknesses more often than the others. Whether he really goes seems currently unlikely and I guess and fear Zouma will leave Chelsea.

What would you do with our centre-backs? Is keeping all four an option? Let us know on our social media platforms!