Chelsea are expected to have a huge revamp of their squad in the coming months as the club embarks on a new chapter of its history. Todd Boehly’s consortium are set to have an extremely busy summer on their hands as the club looks to mount a serious title challenge next season.
The Blues stumbled home to a third-place finish in the 2020/21 season, with the side winning just four out of their last ten league games. Tottenham, who secured fourth place with a final-day victory over Norwich City, finished just three points below Chelsea in the end.
When the season finally concluded, there was a sense of relief around the majority of the Chelsea fan base. Because of the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich back in March, the uncertainty around the whole club has caused plenty of distress for everyone involved.
Now, though, with the summer transfer window almost upon us, there’s a real sense of excitement for Chelsea. A huge summer is required. Firstly, to replace the players leaving, and secondly – and perhaps more crucially – to try and get closer to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in time for the 2021/22 season.
There’s a case for every position in the squad to be addressed. Kepa Arrizabalaga could leave Stamford Bridge, meaning the club may look to bring in another back-up goalkeeper over the window. In defence, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are leaving, so there needs to be numerous additions in that position.
Midfield: the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ross Barkley could all leave. The midfield trio all have 12 months remaining on their respective contracts and could be moved on if the right offer comes Chelsea’s way this summer.
Finally, in attack, there could be a number of exits. Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku all face uncertain futures after underwhelming personal seasons.
Even if the quartet all stay, there’s still a case for Chelsea to go out and purchase an expensive attacker to try and help their fortunes in offensive areas. Christopher Nkunku certainly fits the category that could drastically improve the Blues in an attacking sense.
football.london understands Chelsea remain interested in the RB Leipzig attacker after scouting him during the 2020/21 season. Nkunku is currently locked in contract talks with the Bundesliga club, with two years remaining on his current deal.
He could be available for £64million this summer, with German news outlet Bild reporting Leipzig’s asking price for the 24-year-old. A recent report from the Telegraph claimed that Boehly will hand the club £200m to spend to try and improve their squad over the coming months.
£64m would be a sizeable chunk of that, but if he is genuinely seen as someone who can take Chelsea to the next level, then the club could be all over it. Nkunku’s off-the-ball movement, combination play and dribbling ability make him a nightmare for opposition defenders to deal with.
Nkunku was played as a striker virtually throughout the 2021/22 season, which in truth, isn’t the Frenchman’s natural position. He still did extremely well, though, and his goal return – 20 in 34 Bundesliga appearances – emphasises that.
The Leipzig star is perhaps best as an inside forward, which makes him perfect for one of the wide positions in Tuchel’s 3-4-3 formation at Chelsea. He is not short of admirers, either.
“I do love watching him,” Arsenal legend Thierry Henry said on CBS Sports, via Team Talk, recently. “Goals and assists. He is just having fun this season, but he is adding goals this year.
“He’s in the national team now. His confidence… the world wants him.”
Meanwhile, his former Leipzig manager, Jesse Marsch, who is now the boss at Leeds United, said the Frenchman has “no weaknesses”. Marsch said to the German club’s website: “Christopher has no weaknesses. He is young and still wants a lot more.
“It’s always a good thing when a young player listens to the things we say and also wants to implement them. Working with him is a lot of fun and he is really intelligent and has a lot of potential.”