How Chelsea could line up if they sign all their transfer targets in January

How Chelsea could line up if they sign all their transfer targets in January

Varun Pai
ANALYST

Chelsea had a fairytale of a season until December but things have unraveled since then. They have only won four games out of the last 12 league matches. This has seen their title race derailed and has even put their Top 4 position under threat. But mid-season additions could revitalize their campaign.

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Chelsea could use some refreshing additions in January

Chelsea had a terrific transfer window in the summer of 2020 as they acquired top class attackers and quality defenders. However, Romelu Lukaku and Saul Niguez were the only additions in last summer's transfer window.

The former was signed to 'complete the jigsaw' while the Spaniard was brought in to add depth to the midfield line. The jury remains out on both as they are more or less yet to justify their transfers.

Until then, the Blues could think about making some additions in January, especially since Ben Chilwell is out until the end of the campaign. He underwent knee surgery after picking up an ACL injury in their 4-0 win over Juventus in the Champions League.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are also out of contract in the summer. Thus, it might not be the worst decision to make some winter transfer signings.

On that note, let's take a look at how Chelsea could line-up if they signed all their transfer targets in January


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Goalkeeper- Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy in action against West Ham United

Edouard Mendy has been the top dog at Stamford Bridge over the last two seasons. His athleticism and shot-stopping abilities have saved the Blues on more than one occasion this season.

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Moreover, he is only 29 and is likely to form part of the squad for a long time to come, given the professional life of goalkeepers. Kepa Arrizabalaga is also a fine deputy and Mendy is sure to replace him once he is back from AFCON duty.


Left centre-back- Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger in action against Leeds United
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Antonio Rudiger has arguably been Chelsea's best defender for nearly a year now. Frank Lampard may have frozen him out of the team but he has been at the center of everything good under Thomas Tuchel. He is reliable, strong and an adventurous centre-back.

Antonio Rüdiger’s last four goals:

vs Leicester
vs Spurs
vs Leicester
vs Spurs

Thiago Silva’s last four goals:

vs West Ham
vs Spurs
vs West Ham
vs Spurs

Chelsea CB’s 🤝 scoring vs Tottenham
12:53 PM · Jan 24, 2022

Rudiger has less than six months left on his contract but could play a vital role until the end of the campaign after which his future might be decided.


Centre-back- Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva in action against Tottenham Hotspur

Thiago Silva is the experienced leader at the back that Tuchel relies on time and again. His calm nature on the ball, coupled with incredibly quality in set-pieces, makes him an invaluable part of the current setup.

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Thiago Silva’s game by numbers vs Tottenham:

100% aerial duels won
96% pass accuracy
77 touches
6/9 duels won
4 ball recoveries
4 attempted long balls
3 successful long balls
3 shots
1 goal

A phenom at both ends.
12:09 PM · Jan 24, 2022

Silva recently signed a new one-year deal that will see him stay at the club until the end of next season. Until then, he is sure to benefit the Blues at the back through his commendable leadership qualities.


Right centre-back- Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde training with the France National team

Jules Kounde has been one of the rising stars in Europe. He joined Sevilla in 2019 from Bordeaux and played a crucial role in winning the Europa League in his debut season.

Since then, he has quickly become one of the best centre-backs in the game. There were links of him joining the West London club in the summer but that move never panned out.

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Liverpool join Chelsea in race to sign £70m Jules Kounde - football-talk.co.uk/167918/liverpo…
5:31 AM · Jan 20, 2022

Instead, he has focused his abilities on delivering the La Liga title with the Spanish club. So it is no surprise that Sevilla have conceded the least goals in the league this season (16) and are only four points within the top of the table.

Kounde is strong in the air and can pass the ball out from the back. He has also established himself in the French national team and featured in their 2021 UEFA Nations League triumph.

Still only 23, he has a long future and Chelsea might be keen to sign him soon, since three of their centre-backs are out of contract in the summer.

Right wing-back- Reece James

Chelsea FC v Juventus: Group H - UEFA Champions League
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Reece James is the solution to the right-back conundrum at Chelsea. He can act as a wing-back and as a traditional right-back as he is defensively astute and has an eye for a goal going forward.

He had a terrific season this term before tearing his hamstring in the game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the end of December.

However, the Englishman could return by mid-February or by the end of it. So it might not be long before he takes up the right-wing back role and makes it his own again.


Left-wing back- Sergino Dest

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - Supercopa de Espana Final
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Sergino Dest has become surplus to requirements at Barcelona but remains a talented player. The American international arrived from Ajax in 2020 but has not been able to cement his place in the squad at the Nou Camp.

🗣 @Matt_Law_DT on Sergiño Dest (🧵):

“I think if Dest leaves Barcelona, he will join Chelsea. I know other clubs have been linked, but I think if Chelsea decided they really want him, they’re in the driving seat with Dest.”

pod.fo/e/1061e9
5:24 AM · Jan 20, 2022

The 21-year-old ace can play as a full-back on both sides and has been linked with Chelsea this season. The injury to Chilwell means that Chelsea need to bring in somebody that can provide cover at the back and be dynamic in the attacking phase.

Marcos Alonso does not have the legs to do so week-in and week-out but Dest certainly does. A little like Joao Cancelo at Manchester City, the former Ajax star can cut in but also run on the outside to provide crosses.

His attacking influence is well documented while he is no slouch in the defense either. The Blues need creative wing-backs to start firing on all cylinders again. Dest can do a fantastic job on the left-hand side until the rest of the season.


Central Midfield- N'Golo Kante

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea - Premier League
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N'Golo Kante may have only played 15 league games for Chelsea this season but he remains one of the best central midfielders in world football. His defensive contributions, coupled with his surging runs forward, make him more than a capable player to change the complexion of any game.

Spurs signing Ndombele for £65m is a great buy, he’s one of the best midfielders in Europe and a really good player who will help them in the future.

But Chelsea fans, just remember we signed 2x prem winner, 1x WC winner and POTY winner Ngolo Kante for half the price. ( £32m )
10:02 AM · Jul 2, 2019

The Frenchman has always ended the season on a high note. Now that he is back to his full fitness, he could lead Chelsea to more silverware this term.


Central midfield- Aurelien Tchouameni

Aurelien Tchouameni (Center) in action for AS Monaco

Aurelien Tchouameni is one of the best young midfielders coming out of Ligue 1. The bustling youngster joined AS Monaco in 2020 and has impressed a host of European clubs since then, including Chelsea.

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His strength on the ball is his main feature, as is the protection he provides to the backline. His massive stature also gives him an aerial presence and few manage to get past him. The French international can dictate play while also acting as a link between the attackers and the defense.

Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are great options to have but Tchouameni is the future and has the legs to play consistently without getting injured.

Chelsea could be given a free run at signing Aurélien Tchouaméni, with Manchester United turning their attention to Leipzig's Amadou Haidara and Mönchengladbach's Denis Zakaria.

#CFC
#MUFC

[football.london]
11:00 AM · Jan 18, 2022

The soon-to-be 22-year-old star can provide a lot of impetus to the ranks mid-season and perhaps give fresh hope to our title challenge. Moreover, alongside N'Golo Kante, he could form a devastating midfield duo.

Left-winger- Mason Mount

Mason Mount in action against Tottenham Hotspur
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Mason Mount is a through-and-through Chelsea boy and he has proved it every day since being promoted to the first-team in 2019.

The Englishman presses from the front and gives his 110% with and without the ball. His ability to shoot from long range and take accurate set-pieces also make him an undroppable player.

It is no surprise that the West London club have lost most games during his absence this season. In fact, no Chelsea player has been involved in more goals in the Premier League this season than the 23-year-old. He has scored seven goals and provided six assists.

20 - Mason Mount has registered his 20th assist for Chelsea since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, the most of any player at the club in this period across all competitions. Quality.
11:24 AM · Jan 23, 2022

Mount is a future Chelsea captain and is likely to have a spot in the starting line-up for several years to come.


Right-winger- Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele in action for France
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It has been a while since Ousmane Dembele proved why he is one of the most expensive Barcelona players ever (€105 million). The winger came in with a lot of hype from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 but is yet to prove his potential and price tag. However, he has less than six months left on his current contract and is yet to sign an extension.

Chelsea are keeping tabs on Ousmane Dembele.

Thomas Tuchel worked with the wantaway Barcelona star in Germany and a potential reunion is on the cards.

✍️ @jamesrobsonES
bit.ly/3GX3c8Z
4:56 AM · Jan 24, 2022

Chelsea are keeping tabs on his situation and could opt to sign him for a cut-price fee in January if the Spanish club are prepared to let him go. The Blues do have sufficient attacking talent but signing another world-class star would not hurt.

Moreover, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, and Callum Hudson-Odoi have failed to nail down a spot in the starting XI.

Dembele is fast, technically talented, and quick on his feet. He is two-footed and can assist the centre-forward and also chip in with multiple goals when needed.

The 24-year-old still has quite a lot of years ahead of him and the Blues could use his services to efficiently compete on all fronts.

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Striker- Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku training ahead of the game against Watford

Romelu Lukaku may have burnt bridges with his controversial interview a month ago but he remains Chelsea's most viable strike option. The club-record signing with €115 million has only five league goals in 16 appearances.

But he could prove vital in the second half of the campaign. He can lead the frontline and also change games on his day once he finds his feet again.

Romelu Lukaku is a nightmare for any defender 🤕
11:30 AM · Jan 8, 2022

The big Belgian is sure to come good at some point and Tuchel will be hoping it happens as soon as possible.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
 
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