Chelsea starting XI and 25-man squad for next season with Sancho, Telles and five exits
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is set to overhaul his squad this summer as he targets a host of new signings and looks to ship out those surplus to requirements. The Blues boss is overseeing a period of transition at Stamford Bridge and the upcoming window gives him a perfect opportunity to stamp his mark on the squad.
Lampard has blooded a host of young talent this season in order to cope after a lack of new arrivals last summer due to Chelsea’s transfer ban.
But those restrictions have now been lifted and the Blues boss is expected to make up for lost time by securing reinforcements in several positions.
However, that is not to say the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James are set to miss out with the promising youngsters firmly established in Chelsea’s first-team set-up.
The trio also contribute towards the quota of at least eight homegrown players in the 25-man Premier League squad, but how will the rest of the roster look at the start of 2020/21?
JUST IN: Former Chelsea medic reveals why footballers at top clubs more vulnerable to coronavirus
First up, Lampard has a big decision to make over his goalkeepers with Kepa Arrizabalaga linked with a move away and Willy Caballero out of contract.
Kepa became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for £72million in 2018, but poor form saw him dropped earlier this season.
Speculation has continued to mount regarding his future, despite being recalled shortly before the coronavirus outbreak halted fixtures, and a host of high-profile names have been touted as a replacement for the 25-year-old.
Gianluigi Donnarumma currently appears to be the most likely candidate with Chelsea having contacted his agent Mino Raiola, but Dean Henderson, Nick Pope, Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Juan Musso are just some of the other stoppers linked.
Best and worst Chelsea players this season ranked as stats highlight four huge problems
How Chelsea could line up with every player a different nationality – John Terry left out
Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ranked as worst Premier League stadium experience on matchdays
- Chelsea ready to offer Gianluigi Donnarumma five-year deal worth £35m
Regardless of whether Chelsea keep or sell Kepa, they will still need a back-up so it may be that Lampard offers 38-year-old Caballero a 12-month extension on his current deal in order to provide cover until Jamie Cumming can step up as second-choice.
When playing a traditional back four, Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to still get the nod over Reece James in major clashes but expect the duo to rotate throughout the campaign.
Indeed, Lampard could deploy both in a system that utilises wing-backs with James pushing forward while Azpilicueta slots in as a third centre-back.
Antonio Rudiger is first-choice to anchor the rearguard while one of Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori have been selected alongside the German at various points this season.
- Chelsea could sell four players to raise £100m for Sancho and Gabriel
However, if Chelsea are successful in their pursuit of Gabriel Magalhaes there will be even more competition in central defence next season.
The Blues are one of four clubs who have had bids accepted for the 22-year-old, so it remains to be seen how much they will have to pay for Lille’s £31m-rated star.
Lampard is also on the hunt for more left-back cover with Emerson Palmieri expected to depart the club this summer.
The Italian has failed to nail down a starting berth at Stamford Bridge and Marcos Alonso’s recent resurgence means Emerson is now favourite to reunite with former boss Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.
Alex Telles is being lined up as a replacement and is available for around £35m, with Porto keen to sell before the Brazilian leaves for free at the end of next season.
Chelsea have a host of options in central midfield once injuries clear up, with N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek set to battle it out with Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and teenage sensation Billy Gilmour for starting berths.
Mason Mount and Ross Barkley are also in the mix for the playmaker role in a 4-2-3-1 set-up so it looks likely that there will be no room for long-term absentee Marco van Ginkel in next season’s Premier League squad.
It looks increasingly likely that out-of-contract veterans Pedro and Willian will be moving on this summer, despite Chelsea offering the latter a new two-year deal.
But the Blues have already secured the signing of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax for £33m, with the Moroccan due to join up with his new team-mates at the end of the current campaign after terms were agreed in January.
Chelsea are also in the hunt for Jadon Sancho, although they will have to fork out at least £120m with Manchester United keen on the Borussia Dortmund ace.
Philippe Coutinho has been touted as a possible alternative if a move for Sancho falls through, but the Brazilian would not find game time easy to come by with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic already on the books.
Finally, Lampard has more key choices to make regarding his attackers with Olivier Giroud out of contract and Michy Batshuayi out of favour.
Giroud has impressed in recent weeks as a deputy for the injured Abraham and could well have done enough to earn a new deal, so the Blues are now expected to try and offload Batshuayi this summer.
However, finding a buyer willing to match their valuation of the Belgian has proved tricky in the past and they will need every penny to raise funds for a new striker.
Moussa Dembele appears to be top of Lampard’s wishlist and is thought to be available for £60m but Luka Jovic, Timo Werner and Victor Osimhen have also been linked with a move to west London.
Chelsea also have a number of players currently out on loan who could be moved on to free up further transfer funds, with Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Davide Zappacosta and Victor Moses unlikely to feature in Lampard’s plans going forward.
Chelsea predicted starting XI and 25-man squad in 2020/21
(4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Gabriel, Telles; Kante, Kovacic; Sancho, Mount, Ziyech; Abraham
Rest of squad: Caballero; James, Christensen, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Gilmour; Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Dembele, Giroud
Source: Read Full Article