Chelsea's probable starting XI for next season - featuring potential signings
Chelsea Football Club's transfer ban was lifted just in time for the winter transfer window, but unlike fans' expectations, the club failed to make even a single signing before the transfer deadline day.
But, today was supposedly a bright day for the Blues' with the London club becoming the first European giant to announce their summer signing - Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.
Former player turned coach Frank Lampard has reportedly been given a £200 million war chest to bolster the squad to challenge for every possible trophy next season, and Ziyech has officially become the first signing from the club's first summer signing.
The blue half of London has been going through dry transfer windows for quite some time now, all thanks to the transfer ban imposed, and it is high time the club goes on a spending spree, picking up gems from the available players on the market.
With Chelsea linked with some high-profile signings and already boasting a fairly good squad which sits fourth on the Premier League table, today we take a look at the probable Chelsea squad for the 2020-21 season.
Kepa Arrizabalaga's downfall this season might just see another Ajax player follow in the footsteps of Hakim Ziyech. 23-year-old Andre Onana has been in the best form of his career since last season when the Ajax team took the Champions League by storm, eliminating giants like Real Madrid and Juventus and reaching the semi-final stage of the competition as the underdogs.
Onana stated in November 2019 that he’d be interested in a move to the Premier League at some point in his career, and if the Chelsea Board lose patience with Kepa by the end of this season, we might just see two current Ajax players playing in blue next season at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea has been struggling a lot defensively this entire season, with the defence and the goalkeeper both to blame. But one thing's for sure - Chelsea's back four have been shambolic for some time now.
The return of Antonio Rudiger and the promotion of Reece James to the senior squad definitely has eased the tension in Lampard's camp and the duo is set to retain their first-team status in the seasons to come.
But the club desperately need a good left-back and a centre-back. According to reports since last summer, Leicester's Ben Chilwell has been on Chelsea's radar as a long-term solution to the problematic left-back position. Chilwell is a proven Premier League full-back and has been one of Leicester's key men for the past two seasons and Chelsea will undoubtedly benefit hugely if they can finally put an end to the rumours and bring him to Stamford Bridge in summer.
Another talented centre-back who has been linked with the club since Maurizio Sarri's appointment in 2018 has been Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. The £100 million-rated defender has been in the spotlight for many years now and has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid - all of them searching for reinforcements in the central defensive role.
A key fact remains that if the Blues are to sign Koulibaly, they will have to pay upwards of £100 million, which takes a lot out of their entire budget.
There is no demoting N'Golo Kante and Jorginho from the Chelsea midfield, with the two midfielders being two of the best in the whole of Europe, and have been consistent for Lampard in all competitions this season too.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek might finally get a spot in the first team after his long-term injury which ruled him out for almost the entire current season. The English midfielder has resumed normal training at Cobham recently and looks set to be a big part of the gaffer's plans for the future.
New signing Hakim Ziyech will no doubt be one of the first names on the team-sheet next season as the Moroccan star is one of the most under-rated left-footed wingers in world football right now. Ziyech will have to battle the likes of veteran Chelsea players like Willian on the right flank, but the Moroccan should get the nod from Lampard.
Touted as Eden Hazard's successor on the left-wing, Callum Hudson-Odoi has time and again been regarded as one of the top youth players in the game currently and attracted interest from the likes of Bayern Munich.
The Blues are fighting for a Champions League spot for next season as they sit fourth, above Tottenham, Manchester United, Wolves and Sheffield United who will definitely not forego any opportunity to replace the London club in the fourth position.Published 13 Feb 2020, 22:16 IST