Chelsea have just ended their unusually long, gruelling season in fine form, winning the Europa League and earning a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Many expect Blues owner Roman Abramovich to make his usual splash this transfer window and shell out huge amounts of money to bring in new players and fill needs. But before the Russian billionaire opens his wallet, Chelsea could look to their current roster to fill most of the team’s needs this summer.
One area of need for The Blues is up top. For most of the season, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba were the only two strikers on the team sheet, with many believing the team is in need of another, not only for options, but also for more goals.
Look no further than Romelu Lukaku. The young Belgian striker spent all of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League, and had a fantastic loan spell. Lukaku scored 17 goals and added four assists for the Baggies. Lukaku could see similar if not better results next season if he’s given the chance with Chelsea.
Attacking midfield depth
Chelsea currently have one of the best attacking midfield trios you will see on any field. Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar are all very talented and each has the ability to change a game. Where the squad is lacking though, is depth.
Short of Victor Moses there were not many quality options to bring off the bench to help the attack. One fix for next season could be Kevin De Bruyne. Another young Belgian, the attacking midfielder spent last campaign on loan in the German Bundesliga with Werder Bremen. De Bruyne, much like Lukaku, had a good loan spell contributing with 10 goals and 10 assists. De Bruyne could bring another option to the Chelsea bench and lineup, providing more depth.
Another possible source of depth could come in the form of Lucas Piazón, who spent the last half of the season on loan at Spanish club Málaga. The young Brazilian could possibly be loaned out again next season, however.
Last season Chelsea usually employed club legend Frank Lampard next to Ramires in defensive midfield. While they both performed admirably, neither are traditional holding midfielders.
We did see David Luiz in the midfield at times, and he performed extremely well. Inserting Luiz permanently into the defensive midfield could be a solution for The Blues, but that would also create a hole in their backline.
There are a couple of other options though. Michael Essien will be returning from his loan to Real Madrid, and could be a short term, quick fix. Oriol Romeu will also be fit for next season, as he will be recovering from a season long knee injury. Both players are natural defensive midfielders, and could add depth and quality to the squad.
Obviously Chelsea’s biggest need this summer is to fill the void left at manager. This need will not be filled by anyone currently with the club. As more times passes, it appears former manager, José Mourinho will be returning to the club for which he managed from 2004-2007, winning back-to-back English Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006. Many fans and advocates of the club have never lost love for “The Special One” and in a way, this need can be filled in house.
Chelsea are fortunate enough to not have to worry about funds and have the ability to purchase almost any player the club would like. However, bringing players up through the ranks and giving young players a chance at first team football is also vital to the players and team.
Other than Michael Essien, each player spoken about is still very young. De Bruyne and Romeu are 21, Lukaku is 20 and Piazón is just 19 years old. Not only can each of these young players bring depth and talent to the squad, but also giving them consistent minutes will hone their skills and provide crucial experience.
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