After the misery of 2022/23, Chelsea supporters are clamoring for just stability under their new manager in 2023/24.
The Blues boast a mighty talented squad, but woeful scheduling left it woefully unbalanced. Mauricio Pochettino thus has a huge task ahead of him to develop this Chelsea outfit into one that can once again compete for the biggest honours. Supporters must be patient.
While this will be a summer primarily focused on exit, the west London club will continue to strengthen their ranks to ensure Poch is given the best opportunity to succeed in year one.
This is what Chelsea could look like under their new manager in 2023/24.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – The Blues have been linked with several goalkeepers this summer, including Inter’s Andre Onana, but Kepa is expected to remain the club’s number one with Edouard Mendy traveling to Saudi Arabia.
RB: Reece James – 2022/23 was a hugely difficult one for James as injuries ruled him out of the World Cup and the end of Chelsea’s disastrous campaign. The defender went into the campaign with many labeling him the best in the world in his position and will be hoping for a bounce-back year in 2023/24.
CB: Wesley Fofana – Chelsea signed Fofana as their centre-back for the present and the future. The Frenchman’s maiden campaign at the club was hampered by injuries and inconsistency, but there is no doubting the Frenchman’s talent and he will be a key man for the new boss, who wants to field an aggressive defensive line.
CB: Thiago Silva – Poch has more options at his disposal, even with Kalidou Koulibaly on his way out. He could opt for the younger Trevoh Chalobah, but Thiago Silva has just been so reliable and consistent since joining the club that he will surely start the season as Fofana’s partner. His leadership will be of even greater value with Cesar Azpilicueta’s future uncertain.
LB: Ben Chilwell – The former Leicester defender should benefit greatly from Pochettino’s arrival if the 4-2-3-1 dynamic from the manager’s time at Spurs is maintained. A host of full-backs, including Danny Rose, have excelled under the 51-year-old and the enterprising Chilwell could be next in line.
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CM: Moises Caicedo – Chelsea emerged as the front runners in the race for the Brighton midfielder after Arsenal dropped out, but they could be priced out of a move. The Seagulls are demanding a hefty fee and the Blues are said to be looking at alternatives. But given how big a signing Caicedo would be for Poch, Chelsea will surely find a way to get it over the line, even if it turns into a long-running saga.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – It has been a roller-coaster campaign for the elegant midfielder, who arguably peaked before joining Chelsea in January. The World Cup winner’s start to life at Stamford Bridge was difficult due to the club’s instability, but many were impressed by the £106m man’s opening act in west London. The addition of a defensively sound midfield partner would further unlock the Argentine.
RW: Now Madueke – Madueke left Tottenham while Pochettino was at the club in 2018, but he returned to London in January after the Blues moved. The winger’s start to life at Stamford Bridge was mixed and he is certainly not the most refined of talents, but there is enough for the Argentine to work with and Madueke could find himself an early starter under the incoming boss.
AM: Christopher Nkunku – With Kai Havertz Arsenal-bound and Mason Mount potentially on his way to Man Utd, Nkunku is a player the new manager desperately needs. The Frenchman can play a myriad of roles and Poch could use him across his front four, but he is currently Poch’s best option for the #10 role in his preferred 4-2-3-1. Nkunku has all the minerals needed to excel in the Premier League.
LW: Raheem Sterling – The England international performed quite well in his debut season and he hopes to be part of a much more cohesive Chelsea outfit in 2023/24. The multi-faceted Sterling could act as an outlet for Poch’s Blues or a ball-to-feet winger capable of retaining possession in the final third. Overall, he could be invaluable to the new boss, even if a certain Mykhailo Mudryk is waiting in the wings.
ST: Nicolas Jackson – The young Senegalese forward boasts a profile that Poch appreciates and could well start 2023/24 as Chelsea’s leading man given the current lack of options. Jackson joins the club after a breakout season at Villarreal where he scored 12 times in La Liga.
On this week’s edition of the Talking transferspart of the 90min podcast network, Toby Cudworth is accompanied by Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss the latest transfer news. On the agenda are Arsenal’s approach for Jurrien Timber, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, Chelsea players’ exodus to Saudi Arabia, Moises Caicedo, Kyle Walker, Man Utd’s goalkeeping plans and more!
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