Although Chelsea are yet to rubber-stamp their 2020/21 campaign into the history books, there is already an element of excitement lingering in the west London air.
Since appointing Thomas Tuchel as the club’s head coach towards the end of January, the Blues have not looked back.
Ahead of Wednesday evening’s Premier League tussle with Arsenal, Tuchel has won 17 of his first 25 games in charge in all competitions, losing just twice, highlighting just how big an impact he has had at Stamford Bridge since being appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor.
As well as all but guiding Chelsea to a top-four finish, he has also led them to both the finals of the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, meaning a season that appeared to be in tatters at the time of his arrival could end up being one of the most successful in their history.
But whilst securing a top-four finish will represent success for Chelsea this season given where they were in the table just a few months ago, they will have ambitions of putting all their eggs in the same basket next season and mounting a title charge.
Considering Chelsea have beaten Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur since Tuchel took charge, they have no reason to believe it cannot be possible, especially when Tuchel is likely to strengthen his squad even further this summer with some additions of his own, with a new striker poised to be at the very top of his wish list.
But whatever happens for Chelsea during this summer’s window, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he expects Chelsea to challenge for the title next term, admitting that he had told Tuchel that this current Chelsea squad was a “present” for him to work with.
“We knew last year were weren’t 20-odd points better than other teams,” Klopp said, as quoted by the Express. “We know next year we have to win football games.
“City are not the only challenge next season, Chelsea – I said to Thomas that his squad was a present (to him).
“Together with Thomas it works out pretty well. If you look at the squad they can make 11 changes and you still think that’s a proper team.
“So they will go for it next year definitely. They will not get worse next season that’s a fact. United is in a good way. So it is not who is far away or whatever. It means you have to win your own football games and that’s possible.”
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Klopp is not alone in tipping Chelsea to put themselves in the mix next season, with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also seeming confident about Tuchel’s side’s chances.
“Oh yeah, I really do think so,” Carragher told Sky Sports when asked if he thought Chelsea would mount a title charge next term.
“It’s looked for the last couple of seasons that no-one could really match City at certain times, Liverpool have for a couple of years, but I think we’ve got now maybe two or three other teams besides Liverpool who could really match Manchester City.”