The celebrations from Saturday evening’s UEFA Champions League final triumph over Manchester City have barely died down and already Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is putting plans in place ahead of the start of next season.
The Blues secured their first Champions League crown in nine years thanks to a 1-0 win over Pep Guardiola’s charges at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, as Kai Havertz, the club’s record signing, netted the only goal of the game shortly before half-time.
After losing the FA Cup final just two weeks prior to Saturday’s showpiece event, it was the perfect way for the Blues to respond and clinch their first piece of silverware under Tuchel.
Although the German has enjoyed an excellent level of success in his relatively short time in charge at Stamford Bridge with the players he already has at his disposal, it is only natural that a head coach would wish to put his own stamp of authority on his squad.
And that is exactly what the former Paris Saint-Germain boss is planning to do. According to a report by the Telegraph, Tuchel has informed Blues owner Roman Abramovich that he wants to add three new faces to his squad this summer, as he looks to try and take the club to the next level. It is claimed that the positions Tuchel wants to bolster are the right side of his defence, the centre of midfield and up front, with a striker poised to be his top priority.
Chelsea have been linked with a whole host of strikers in recent weeks and months, including Tottenham Hotspur ace Harry Kane, Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku. But if Chelsea are to stand any chance of landing any of them this summer then they are going to have to spend big money.
Kane and Haaland will be valued at more than £100million, whilst Lukaku is most likely to cost somewhere between £60m to £80m.
As well as those three being linked with switches to Stamford Bridge, the Telegraph claims that West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice and Adama Traore are on Tuchel’s radar. Rice is Tuchel’s top choice to bolster his midfield options, whilst Traore, who is renowned for his speed and athleticism, would provide competition for Reece James at right wing-back.
Rice, who was consistently linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last summer, is likely to cost Chelsea around £80m if they are serious about a move, whilst Traore is currently valued at £31.5m by transfer website transfermarkt.
Should Chelsea offload several fringe players this summer, plus the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham, Tuchel could have a decent-sized transfer budget to work with.
Should that prove to be the case and Chelsea conclude summer deals for Traore, Rice and former striker Lukaku, what would be their strongest starting line-up, not including any other potential arrivals, next season?
Presuming that Tuchel sticks with his tried and tested 3-4-2-1 system, which was key in their Champions League campaign, Edouard Mendy would retain his place in goal.
Ahead of him would be a back-three, from right to left, of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger, although that is possible to change if the Blues draft in a younger centre-back, given that they have been linked with the likes of Niklas Sule of Bayern Munich and Raphael Varane of Real Madrid in recent weeks.
In midfield, despite Traore’s arrival, James would continue to operate at right wing-back because of his outstanding levels of form in recent weeks. N’Golo Kante, who starred in the Champions League final, would be joined in the centre by Rice to add some defensive solidity, whilst Ben Chilwell would take up residency at left wing-back.
Ahead of that bank of four, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz would be the architects-in-chief and be responsible for making the midfield and attack link. The returning Lukaku would lead the line, meaning Werner would drop to the bench.
Should that line-up prove to be what is available to Tuchel at the start of next season, although there are absolutely no guarantees, it would leave Tuchel with an array of talented options to make up his substitutes bench.
Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic, Billy Gilmour, Jorginho, Traore and Werner would all be available to provide support and competition.
Dream Chelsea line-up following triple transfer swoop:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Rice, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz; Lukaku.