This summer, The Blues made significant changes to their midfield by offloading a number of star players. So, how will Chelsea rebuild their midfield? Read on to find out!
A thorough overhaul
After two extravagant transfer windows, spending a total of £606 million to bring in numerous new signings, Chelsea will now have to execute a substantial squad reduction plan in the summer of 2023. The requirement is to reduce the squad size from 33 players in the previous season to 25 players, a reasonable number for a football team.
Furthermore, The Blues also need to generate income from player sales to balance their budget and ensure compliance with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, even though most of Chelsea’s outgoing transfer deals have resulted in financial losses.
Notably, among the players departing from Chelsea this summer, several are midfielders. N’Golo Kante has already left for Al-Ittihad on a free transfer, while Mateo Kovacic has joined Manchester City for a fee of £25 million.
Kai Havertz is reportedly on his way to Arsenal, and there is potential for Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah, and Callum Hudson-Odoi to be sold as well. The only midfielder who seems untouchable is Enzo Fernandez.
Who does Chelsea intend to sign?
Chelsea certainly needs to urgently reinforce their midfield. But who are they targeting? In reality, there have been several players linked to Chelsea this summer, and many of them are midfielders.
Some of the mentioned names include Gabri Veiga from Celta Vigo, Moises Caicelo from Brighton, Romeo Lavia from Southampton, Yunus Musah from Valencia, Declan Rice from West Ham, James Ward-Prowse from Southampton, Joao Palhinha from Fulham, and Khephren Thuram from Nice.
Among these targets, quite a few are currently playing in the Premier League. This indicates that Chelsea’s leadership wants assurance of seamless integration into the English football environment. Moving away from extravagant spending, The Blues need to carefully select and consider the newcomers’ adaptability.
Acquiring players who are already familiar with the Premier League reduces the risk of failure compared to star players who have performed exceptionally well in their previous season but lack experience with the culture and football of the British Isles.
Furthermore, Chelsea will also focus on recruiting young players or those who are in their prime, considering they have let go of most of the aging and slow midfielders. New manager Mauricio Pochettino is known for favoring young players, and his high-tempo playing style requires physically strong and agile midfielders.
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In conclusion, Chelsea’s plan to rebuild their midfield involves a strategic approach of targeting Premier League players for a smoother integration process, along with a focus on young and dynamic midfielders to match the team’s playing style.
It is uncertain which players Chelsea will be able to acquire among the mentioned targets. Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo are indeed prioritized targets. They are young, and strong, and have proven their quality in the Premier League in recent years.
However, their price tags will not come cheap, and Chelsea will have to compete with other big teams in England, such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal, to secure their signings.
If Chelsea wants to focus on emerging young talents, they could shift their attention to players like Gabri Veiga, Romeo Lavia, or Khephren Thuram. These are players under the age of 20 who are still considered rough diamonds waiting to be developed. Of course, this approach also carries risks as there is no guarantee they will fulfill their potential as expected.
If Chelsea doesn’t want to spend too much money or take risks with young talents, they could target players like James Ward-Prowse or Joao Palhinha. These players have a wealth of experience, and their price tags would not be excessively high. However, they are considered mid-tier stars and may not provide a significant breakthrough for Chelsea’s midfield.
In summary, rebuilding Chelsea’s midfield will not be a simple task. Manager Pochettino and owner Todd Boehly will need to carefully consider their options if they want to avoid setbacks like in the previous season.
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