3 reasons why Chelsea will get left behind next season
Great things were expected of Chelsea in Antonio Conte's sophomore season in the Premier League after winning the title in his very first in England. However, the champions could not reproduce their form from last season with several top stars underperforming.
Add to that the glaring errors they committed in the 2017 summer transfer window and Conte apparently losing the dressing room, Chelsea are not in the best of shapes.
If Spurs and Liverpool manage to keep their heads for the rest of the season and do not slip up, Chelsea will not feature in the UEFA Champions League next season. To sum it up, things are looking rather grim for the Stamford Bridge outfit and they could very well be left behind when the next season kicks off.
We take a look at the reasons why it could happen:
#3 Unsettled stars
In the wake of yet another underwhelming season, it seems inevitable that a few of Chelsea's star players could pack their bags in search of greener pastures. Players like Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois were pivotal in Chelsea's title-winning 2016-17 campaign.
However, they haven't performed at that same level since and could very well jump ship in the summer. Courtois has already admitted that his heart is in Madrid. Real Madrid have been looking for a worthy replacement for an ageing Keylor Navas for quite a while now.
Given that Mourinho has dismissed any chance of David de Gea departing in the summer, Real Madrid could very well swoop in for the Belgium no.1. The 25-year-old will be delighted if Zinedine Zidane does indeed go ahead with the deal as it will be a major step up and even a dream-come-true situation for the giant goalkeeper.
But what will hurt Chelsea, even more, is the prospect of Eden Hazard leaving the club. Hazard, at times, looks like he has had enough at Chelsea and if he has lofty dreams of making it big in Europe, it looks like the ideal time for the 27-year-old to leave.
With Real Madrid reportedly lurking to sign him, it would be very difficult for the Blues to hold on to him beyond this season.