Chelsea have confirmed the sacking of Frank Lampard.
The Telegraph reported on Monday morning that the Blues will bring the axe down on their all-time record goalscorer after a difficult start to his second season despite a summer of heavy spending.
Tuchel lined up for Chelsea job
As a result, many Chelsea fans share the thoughts of the club hierarchy in wanting Lampard out of the door, meaning that former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is all clear to replace him.
While the likes of Massimiliano Allegri, Brendan Rodgers and Andriy Shevchenko have also been linked with the role, all signs seem to be pointing towards Tuchel after Monday’s reports.
It’s not an appointment that’s universally loved by Chelsea fans, there’s no doubt about it, but there are many reasons to think that it’s the shrewdest choice from the available cohort.
New era at Stamford Bridge
One would argue that Rodger is probably the one head coach with a better-suited CV for the Blues, but his past at Stamford Bridge has made a return to the club’s technical area near-impossible.
But anyhow, with Tuchel essentially nailed on to inherit the reins in west London, we couldn’t resist imagining what his Blues XI could look like in comparison to Lampard.
We’re not getting lost down a rabbit hole of potential transfers quite yet because, as much as we want to imagine Marco Verratti in the Premier League, there’s still so much of the season to play.
Chelsea XI under Tuchel
And with Chelsea unlikely to make any January signings that would slot immediately into the starting XI, we’ve tried to imagine the line-up that Tuchel would choose with Chelsea’s current resources.
So, without further ado, join me in looking deep into the perpetually-blurry crystal ball of the footballing world and imagining what the Tuchel tenure at Chelsea might look like:
GK: Edouard Mendy
Yup, no doubt about it. Although Mendy hasn’t been perfect this season, he’s still Chelsea’s best goalkeeper and Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performance against Luton Town did nothing but prove that.
RB: Reece James
It might be easy to think that Lampard leaving is ‘game over’ for the club’s young, English players, but James lines up perfectly with Tuchel’s love of overlapping full-backs bombing forward from deep.
CB: Thiago Silva
Having worked with Silva at PSG, Tuchel will be well aware of the Brazilian’s quality and will see no reason to expel him from the Chelsea XI after an impressive start to life in the Premier League.
CB: Kurt Zouma
We definitely see scope for Antonio Rudiger to come back into the fold under Tuchel, but Zouma has been one of the Premier League’s best centre-halves this season, dominating in the air.
LB: Ben Chilwell
Don’t fix what ain’t broke. Chilwell has been Chelsea’s best-performing summer signing with two goals and four assists from left-back in the Premier League, while also fitting the bill defensively.
CM: N’Golo Kante
In keeping with his PSG tactics, we’re predicting Tuchel to stay true to his 4-3-3 formation and there’s little reason to think that Chelsea’s best midfielder, Kante, is inappropriate for that approach.
CM: Mateo Kovacic
Tuchel’s frequent use of Ander Herrera and Leandro Paredes tells you everything about his love of dynamism and energy in the centre and while we don’t think Kovacic is the perfect man for the job, we think he’s a better fit than Jorginho or Mason Mount.
CAM: Kai Havertz
And speaking of Mount, despite his brilliant campaign so far, reports claim Tuchel’s shared nationality with Chelsea’s struggling signings has played a major role in his impending appointment.
As a result, it’s hard to imagine a world where Havertz isn’t given more opportunities under his compatriot, especially when he has a penchant for flair players at the top-end of his formations.
RW: Hakim Ziyech
A Tuchel player if ever we’ve seen one. Ziyech will bring the sort of lobbed, overlapping passes that will allow James to drive forward and the final-third trickery conducive with a fluid, attacking approach.
ST: Timo Werner
On a similar note to Havertz, I think it’s pretty clear that Tuchel will do everything in his power to get the best out of Chelsea’s German stars and that includes starting Werner in his prefered position.
LW: Christian Pulisic
Having enjoyed a productive relationship at Dortmund, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tuchel back his former prodigy and help him rediscover the form that saw him dazzle in the summer of 2020.
What to expect now
So, don’t expect Tuchel to rip the current Chelsea approach apart from top to bottom, but rather anticipate some small tweaks that will align the XI to the philosophy he pedalled in Paris.
However, do expect Tuchel to have made promises to back Werner and Havertz – who are valued at £63 million and £72.9 million respectively – and for the game time of players like Mount and Abraham to drop off.
And as far as future transfer windows are concerned, I think you can expect Tuchel to invest in a central midfielder who fits the profile of a Paredes, Idrissa Gueye, Herrera or Verratti.
Then again, of course, be sure to take that all with a pinch of salt because football is an unpredictable world and Chelsea’s managerial merry-go-round is about as crazy as they come.