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5 Chelsea players who disappointed the most during pre-season

Sarri wouldn't have enjoyed working with some of these players
Sarri wouldn't have enjoyed working with some of these players

Chelsea kick-start their Premier League campaign against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium tomorrow, where Maurizio Sarri will get his first taste of English football as the Blues try to revive their credentials as one of the finest clubs in the country.

Despite managing to replace Thibaut Courtois with the highly rated Kepa Arrizabalaga and signing Mateo Kovacic on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, Chelsea have yet again failed to address their issue of having a natural goal-scorer in their ranks before the transfer window slammed shut yesterday.

The West London outfit's poor form in front of goal was quite evident during pre-season as they managed to muster just 3 goals from their 5 preparatory games, including the Community Shield loss against Manchester City. Sarri would have identified the worrying trend all throughout pre-season and will be hoping to buck the trend in the coming weeks as Chelsea prepare for life under their new manager.

Furthermore, the fact that the players at the club can still secure their moves away from Stamford Bridge, due to the availability of the European market, is a cause of concern for the under-performers from pre-season, who might be forced to seek other opportunities before the 31st of August.

On that note, let's take a closer look at five such players who are in danger of being moved out after disappointing for Chelsea during pre-season:


#5 Victor Moses

Moses will not be a regular starter under Sarri
Moses will not be a regular starter under Sarri

The revival of Victor Moses under Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 system proved to be pivotal during Chelsea's run to the Premier League title in 2016/17.

However, the Nigerian was largely ineffective during Conte's second season in charge at Stamford Bridge and it did not take too long for all hell to break loose with Chelsea eventually finishing outside a Champions League spot in 5th, and the Italian facing a delayed sack in the summer.

In addition to his poor run of form, Maurizio Sarri scrapping the 3-4-3 for his tried and tested 4-3-3 formation meant that Moses was only deployed as a winger during his pre-season appearances and the change did not bear the right results.

The 27-year-old was also linked with a deadline day move away from Chelsea with newly promoted Wolves interested in taking him on a season-long loan deal. Even though the move failed to materialize, it is quite evident that his future at the club is in jeopardy.

#4 Tammy Abraham

Abraham struggled to make an impact
Abraham struggled to make an impact

Plenty of hopes were rested on Tammy Abraham ahead of the upcoming season especially due to the fact that he had gained valuable Premier League experience while on-loan at Swansea City last season.

The youngster's loan spell was not as prolific when compared to his previous stint with Bristol City in the Championship but he was exposed to the uncompromising nature of the top-flight and that in itself was invaluable.

With both Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud returning very late after their World Cup exploits, the onus was on Abraham to help lead the Chelsea attack in pre-season alongside the misfiring Alvaro Morata. However, the 20-year-old struggled to impress Maurizio Sarri and proved why he is still far from nailing down a position with the first team.

Abraham was uncharacteristically poor in front of goal and his link-up play was a huge let down on many occasions, more notably during his only start of pre-season against Lyon in Chelsea's last preparatory game at Stamford Bridge.

#3 Marcos Alonso

Alonso is another casualty of the change in formation
Alonso is another casualty of the change
in formation

Much like Victor Moses, the story of Marcos Alonso is also about second chances and rediscovering himself. The Spaniard had first tasted the rigorous nature of the Premier League during his stint with Bolton Wanderers in 2010 and later on loan at Sunderland from Fiorentina back in 2014.

However, it is Antonio Conte who got him to Chelsea in 2016 and the 27-year-old has not looked back ever since then becoming the highest scoring defender in the league since joining Chelsea and winning the Premier League and FA Cup titles in the process.

Despite his unparalleled success as a wing-back, Alonso was forced into a more natural full-back's role in Maurizio Sarri's 4-3-3 system during pre-season and the ill-effects did not take too long to come to light.

The former Real Madrid player's defensive frailties were exposed by the opposition time and again, especially during the games against Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup and the Community Shield loss against Manchester City, where he was completely outfoxed by his counter-parts

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#2 Tiemoue Bakayoko

Bakayoko's career has gone tremendously downhill
Bakayoko's career has gone tremendously downhill

Tiemoue Bakayoko, who was the subject of a £40m transfer from AS Monaco to Chelsea last summer, has not justified his price-tag up until this point and if the early signs from pre-season are anything to go by, then the Frenchman's nightmare in a Chelsea shirt looks set to continue.

The midfielder was unofficially voted as Chelsea's worst player from the 2017/18 campaign and it his career has only gone downhill ever since arriving in London.

At least some of the optimistic bunch among the Chelsea faithful would have hoped that the 23-year-old would recapture his form in a midfield three under Maurizio Sarri but it has not quite turned out that way for the player. Bakayoko disappointed with his passing during pre-season and was ridiculously out of position during many instances, failing to complement his teammates on the pitch.

The arrival of Mateo Kovacic is expected to bring down the curtains on his horror show in West London with AC Milan interested in signing the player on an initial season-long loan with an option to make it permanent.

#1 Alvaro Morata

Morata's form in front of goal will be a concern for Chelsea
Morata's form in front of goal will be a concern for Chelsea

Chelsea's £60m signing from last summer, Alvaro Morata, has been the subject of continuous and constant criticism due to his abysmal form in front of goal for the club.

The Spaniard only mustered a paltry 11 goals in 31 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions so far and went on a disappointing drought in the second half of last season, forcing Chelsea to rope in Olivier Giroud in January to shoulder the responsibility.

However, a change in personnel at the helm in the form of Maurizio Sarri was expected to become a breath of fresh air for the striker, that could potentially help rekindle his destructive form, but a disappointing pre-season proved that his fortunes haven't changed drastically.

Morata looked a shadow of the player he was at Juventus throughout Chelsea's pre-season campaign and failed to score a single goal over the course of the 5 preparatory games, even failing to convert a penalty against Arsenal in the International Champions Cup.

Chelsea's inability to land a striker in the summer will now force Sarri to work his way around Morata and with the striker reaffirming the fact that he intends to stay and fight for his place at Stamford Bridge, the fans will only be hoping that he finds his feet sooner rather than later.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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