With a plethora of talent, the 2013/14 Chelsea squad should be an entertaining side to watch.
Having a deep squad means no player is assured a starting spot, thus all will want to perform at their best to retain playing time.
Any of the 27 players on the roster will be interesting to watch, but here are five players that have the most compelling storylines and the most to prove.
1) Romelu Lukaku- The big Belgian looks to continue terrorising defences as he did while on loan at West Brom last season, netting 17 times.
Lukaku took the Premier League by storm, and has earned a chance to play for the Blues.
Expect him to feature mostly in the BPL and domestic cups, where he is more comfortable, having gained valuable experience last season. If Lukaku performs at or near the level
he did last season, he will become the club’s undisputed number nine.
2) Kevin De Bruyne - Another player who benefited immensely from a loan spell away from Chelsea, De Bruyne came back from his loan at Werder Bremen a rejuvenated and well-rounded player.
Despite the competition to play in the triumvirate behind the striker (provided a 4-2-3-1 formation is used) De Bruyne should get enough playing time to showcase his passing abilities and eye for the goal.
A season with double digit assists and goals is not out of reach if the Belgian maintains his fine pre-season form.
3) Marko van Ginkel - The young Dutchman probably won’t rack up the goals and assists; but that is not the reason he was signed.
His ability to break up opposition’s attacks and push the ball forward to the likes of De Bruyne, Lukaku, Mata, and Hazard is equally as important as scoring and assisting.
At only 20, it will be interesting to see how he adapts in his first season in the BPL. With his ability and physique he may be an instant success.
4) Oscar - There is no doubting the Brazilian’s technique and ability; he has more than enough class to play anywhere in the world.
What many question is his drive. Often times last season he would crumble under heavy tackles, looking for fouls.
He must learn to stay on his feet if he wants to be successful. Additionally, he lacked the desire to help out defensively; Mourinho is not a manager that will allow his players to slack.
If he fails to track back he will find himself on the bench. All the negatives aside, Oscar will likely improve from a subpar season last year, and show why Chelsea paid £20million for the then 20 year old.
5) Club legends: Ashley Cole, John Terry, and Frank Lampard - This one is cheating a bit, putting 3 players in one spot; however, all three are well into their 30’s and cannot maintain their stellar form forever.
Cole has been regarded as the best left-back in the world for some time; his form will drop at some point, could this be the year?
Terry must prove that he can play effective defense, despite having zero pace. If he struggles
with quicker players, he will be benched given the depth at centre-back.
Lampard is unlikely to be a regular, but always possesses the ability to score, and his
record from the penalty spot is still almost perfect.
He can still be an invaluable asset to the Blues, whether it be the occasional start, or appearing as a substitute. The trio has plenty to prove this year, but will age finally catch up to them?
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