Five players who could leave Chelsea this summer
There’s an awful lot of uncertainty surrounding Chelsea this summer. Roman Abramovich has pulled plans for an expansion to Stamford Bridge, and we are still no closer to finding out who will be in charge when the season starts.
Last season was a disappointing one for the Blues. Having won the Premier League title in 2016/17, there were problems from the beginning, with Antonio Conte falling out with his board on transfers, and the way he dealt with Diego Costa. From that moment on, it seemed the relationship between the board and the manager was in tatters, and there was a constant indication that Conte was not happy at Chelsea.
Whether this had an impact on how the players performed on the pitch is debatable, but it definitely didn’t help. They missed out on Champions League qualification, and were dumped out of the competition in the round of 16 by Barcelona. They did however finish the season by winning the FA Cup, beating Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley in the final.
But despite that success, it was clear that there was something wrong at Stamford Bridge. The relationship between the players and the manager was almost non-existent, and this was made clear by Willian’s Instagram post following the final, on which he covered Conte’s face.
It looks likely that there will be a big change at the club this summer, regardless of who is in charge. The standard of Chelsea’s football was well short of the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool last season, and the quality of the squad as a whole is not to the level of Champions League teams. With the likes of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, they do have some world-class players, but there are some players at Chelsea who are not up to scratch.
Here are five who could end up leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.
#1 Danny Drinkwater
Drinkwater moved to Chelsea in a £40 million move from Leicester City on transfer deadline day last summer. Since then, it hasn’t really worked out for the midfielder, who due to a combination of injuries and form, never established himself in the Chelsea side. He appeared only 12 times in the Premier League, with just five of those coming from the start. He played just 41 minutes of the Blues’ Champions League campaign, and was very much a fringe player.
This was a huge fall in grace for a player who had been so key to Leicester’s success in the previous two seasons. It was hoped that he would rekindle his partnership with N’Golo Kante in centre midfield, but that never came about. When it came to World Cup selection, Drinkwater’s name never came up in conversations, and this may be one of the reasons he wishes to look elsewhere this summer. At 28, he should be hitting his peak, and he needs to be playing regularly, and that seems unlikely at Chelsea.