When this season started, no-one could’ve seen what was going to happen to Chelsea. They started as title favourites and now are lucky to even be mid-table.
This has been the result of a rapid decline in form to many of their top stars that fired for them last season.
In the summer, not only will there be a change in manager, but also there needs to be a change in the squad.
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In goal, Chelsea are extremely fortunate as they already have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Thibaut Courtois.
While his form this season has certainly been questionable at times, it looks like Chelsea will keep Courtois for some time to come. They also have Asmir Begovic, another very experienced and proven Premier League goalkeeper, so Chelsea won’t have to go out and buy a new 'keeper this summer.
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However, defence has been Chelsea’s weak point throughout the season, with the only bright sparks being Kurt Zouma, and Cesar Azpilicueta. Chelsea had the best defence in the league last year and this season they have one of the worst.
With the club looking unlikely to renew John Terry’s contract, Chelsea will need a world class centre back to fill his shoes. The obvious thought is Raphael Varane, who is a world class talent not playing week in week out at Real Madrid. Chelsea should use this to try and persuade him to swap the Bernabeu for Stamford Bridge. He would also be available for many years to come, as he is only just turning 23, meaning he would be a perfect replacement for Terry. It would further create a centre back partnership of Varane and Zouma, a partnership that would be feared by any strike force in the Premier League.
In addition, it is looking likely that Branislav Ivanovic’s career at Chelsea is up. While he has recovered some form in the latter stages of the season, it is clear that he is just not up to the high standard that the Premier League demands.
At Paris Saint-Germain there are two exceptional right backs in Marquinhos and Serge Aurier. Like Varane these two will not play every week and Chelsea should exploit this by luring one to Stamford Bridge. Both are young and have huge potential and certainly have what it takes to compete at the highest level.
Finally Chelsea should look to recall Andreas Christensen from Borussia Monchengladbach, as his form this season has been superb. This would also pave way for Gary Cahill to leave, as he like Ivanovic, has not been up to standards this year.
Again midfield is an area Chelsea were so dominant in last season yet now it has crumbled.
Chelsea will have to go out and get a new holding midfielder to replace Nemanja Matic, who just hasn’t had the same effect on the team. Reports claim that Chelsea have reached an agreement with Italian side AS Roma for Radja Nainggolan, which could be worth around £30 million. If this is true then this will be a terrific signing for Chelsea as he is already a proven quality holding midfielder.
Other prospects could include Willam Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon, who is being chased by multiple Premier League clubs. Also players like Youri Tielemens and Ruben Neves are some of the hottest young stars in European football. Chelsea should pounce now before it comes to late to sign these promising youngsters, to partner Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the future.
John Obi Mikel is another player that Chelsea should look into selling as he no longer has the quality needed to be a mainstay at Stamford Bridge.
In attack and attacking midfield, Chelsea are better equipped.
Even though the form of Eden Hazard has been very alarming, Chelsea will almost certainly give him another chance to show people why he was PFA Player of the Year last season. Antonio Conte is rumored to have agreed with him to stay for at least another season.
However, one player they should replace is Oscar. He simply has not shown enough quality or consistency throughout his whole Chelsea career and should be sold to fund a move for a world class No.10.
One name that is being talked about is James Rodriguez. Every Chelsea fan would get very excited about him signing as he is on another level to Oscar. However it could soon become a reality as he is unsettled at Real Madrid and even his parents have publicly criticized Zinedine Zidane over the handling of him.
This should give Chelsea the green light to pursue the young Colombian, that showed his true class at the World Cup back in 2014.
In terms of a striker, like Hazard, Diego Costa will be given one more season to prove his worth, as he has shown patches of very good form this season, and when he’s firing so are Chelsea.
They also have suitable back up in starlet Bertrand Traore, however they will look to offload the out of sorts Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy, and Alexandre Pato, with two of them set to leave the club once their loans expire.
If the trio do leave, that could possibly lead the way to some stars of the youth academy like Dominic Solanke, who has impressed for the Under 21s.
If Chelsea do fill these gaps, then guided by Conte, they will be a real force to be reckoned with next season, and could definitely be challenging for the title.
What areas do Chelsea need to strengthen the most? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!