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3 Sound Investments for Chelsea to Make this season

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5.73K   //    24 Jul 2018, 20:03 IST

The 2017-18 season was Antonio Conte’s last season as Chelsea manager. Despite winning the Premier League and the FA Cup in his two seasons in charge, Conte was given the axe. Chelsea’s failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League was the final nail in the coffin for the Italian.

Since his sacking, Chelsea have installed Maurizio Sarri at the helm. Sarri is a very different manager to Conte, both in terms of style and philosophy. While Conte liked to play with a back three, Sarri prefers employing a 4-3-3 formation. Conte prioritized defence over attack but with Sarri, one can be assured that it would be the other way round. This change in style would warrant a few changes in personnel as well.

The Stamford Bridge outfit encountered problems controlling the midfield in the season gone by. To address the issue, they went out and bought Jorginho from Napoli, Sarri’s former club. Jorginho seems to be the answer to Chelsea’s midfield muddle and impressed on his debut against Perth Glory. In the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, he touched the ball 101 times and made 98 successful passes. In addition to Jorginho, they have the likes of Fabregas, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Drinkwater and the phenomenal Kante to call upon.

But the same cannot be said of their attack and defence. Both of those departments need to be re-jigged if they are to challenge for the title again. In the 2017-18 Premier League season, Chelsea scored 62 goals, which was the lowest among the top 6. Apart from this, their defence was a far cry from the Chelsea defences of yesteryear and they let in 38 goals, which was the 2nd worst of the top 6.

Through this article, we look at a few investments that Chelsea should make to bring the title back to Stamford Bridge. If these investments are made, the title would not be a ‘bridge’ too far after all.

#1 Nabil Fekir

Everton FC v Olympique Lyon - UEFA Europa League
Nabil Fekir in action

With Hazard looking destined to end up at Real Madrid and Alvaro Morata not covering himself in glory, Chelsea need to bring exciting, attacking talent on board. This is where Nabil Fekir comes into the picture.

Fekir shot to prominence last season when his 18 goals and 8 assists helped Lyon finish an impressive 3rd in the Ligue 1. Fekir was part of a sensational front three along with Depay and Mariano Diaz. They ripped teams apart and were the major contributors in Lyon racking up 87 goals during the entirety of the season.

Fekir did not play a very instrumental role in France’s World Cup heroics. However, that was due to the embarrassment of riches France enjoyed rather than Fekir playing badly. He was impressive whenever he was brought on as a substitute. His greatest assets are his ability to create space for himself and draw defenders close to him before dribbling away from them. He draws his fair share of fouls as well with him getting fouled 3.5 times per game in the Ligue 1.

He would be a very crucial component in Sarri’s machine. Sarri likes to play with a mobile front three who can interchange positions when the situation arises. Fekir has shown that he is adept at playing on the wings as well as centrally.

Chelsea would hope that Hazard stays and a devastating front three of Hazard, Fekir and Willian can come to fruition. But even if Hazard packs his bags for Madrid, Fekir is capable enough to fill in the Belgian’s boots.

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