Thomas Tuchel is expected to make additions to his Chelsea squad this summer though it is a bit quiet on the transfer front as the players begin returning for pre-season.
With the EURO 2020 championships almost at a close, some movement in the market is expected after its conclusion this weekend.
Those who aren’t involved in the tournament will be steadily returning to pre-season training, with the likes of West Ham, Spurs and Newcastle having already reported back. Chelsea’s players are due to arrive across this week.
Amid a tightening of finances for many clubs thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, a huge summer of spending isn’t expected.
Chelsea are one of the clubs who can navigate their way through such processes as we have been in the last 18 months thanks to their financial might but even then, there is no need to be ridiculous with the chequebook.
Tuchel’s side are reigning European champions, after all.
That hasn’t stopped the Blues from being linked with money-spinning moves for Erling Haaland and Achraf Hakimi this summer. Hakimi however has signed for Paris St Germain on a five-year deal.
Football.London understands the Blues are very much interested in Haaland – who wouldn’t be?
Tuchel himself stated towards the end of the season that he doesn’t think the Blues squad needs wholesale changes this summer as he embarks on his first full campaign in charge and an expected title push in the Premier League.
But when he does have all of his players back at Cobham for pre-season and ahead of the first game of the campaign against Crystal Palace, who are the absolute untouchables in his squad?
Perhaps the biggest untouchable of them all and arguably the best midfielder on the planet right now, a lot of Chelsea’s future success will depend on the fitness of Kante.
Managing the mercurial Frenchman will be one of Tuchel’s biggest and most important tasks next season and the German has shown he is willing to rest Kante to ensure he remains fit for the big games.
Keeping Kante fit and firing is imperative for Tuchel, not least getting him tied down to a new and improved contract.
The Senegalese stopper kept an incredible nine clean sheets en route to Champions League glory last season and 16 in all competitions for the Blues after his move from Rennes this time last year.
Mendy has established himself firmly as the Blues’ number one stopper and is the starting point of what needs to be a very strong spine for Chelsea if they are to reach the heights that Tuchel will set for himself and his players next season.
Not far behind Kante, who pretty much has to play every week if he’s available, is Mason Mount, who continues to go from strength to strength for both club and country.
The reigning Chelsea player of the year will only get better as well and will be a key cog in Tuchel’s side for next season. Like Kante, if he’s fit then he plays and is pretty much undroppable for the foreseeable future barring a catastrophic loss in form which, on previous evidence, is highly unlikely to happen.
The Italian international scored the decisive spot kick for his country as they reached the EURO 2020 final with a typically ice-cool spot kick. With a hop, skip and a jump, Jorginho showed immense composure to net from 12 yards and continue his excellent 2021.
As soon as night follows day, his agent Joao Santos was barking about his client now having a £50million price tag for prospective buyers but on current form, Jorginho won’t be going anywhere.
Considering where the German was heading at the turn of the year before the departure of Frank Lampard, it has been quite the turnaround for Rudiger.
The centre half established himself as a leader at the back for Tuchel in their quest for Champions League glory and to finish in the top four. Rudiger has carried that form over to the international stage for Germany as well this summer.
He’s a dead cert to start the opening game of next season despite there being a few issues over his contract, which expires at the end of 2021/22. Tuchel and Chelsea might be wise to get that sorted sooner rather than later after the Euros.
Much like Rudiger, Azpilicueta had a fantastic rejuvenation in the second half of last season as Tuchel banked on the Spaniard’s experience not only at the start to settle in, but to then take the team forward during the latter part of the season.
That ended with Azpilicueta putting in a heroic performance in the Champions League final as he continued to show his versatility, playing as both a wing-back and a third centre back.
The centre of the defence is where Azpilicueta’s immediate future lies and, buoyed by his recall to the Spain squad for the Euros, the Blues captain is going to be a key player for the head coach once again next season.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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Perhaps a controversial choice but you can’t argue that his performances towards the end of last season, culminating in scoring the winner in Porto against Man City, has put him in good stead for the upcoming campaign.
Havertz’s movement in the final third is what sets him apart from the other Blues strikers, though he will certainly like to add a few more goals to his tally this season.
You suspect, with an extended run in the side, that Havertz can do that. Could he have Erling Haaland alongside him next season? Who knows but what a mouth-watering prospect that would be.