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Squad Status: 2021/22 Season

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Centre-backs (5)

Thiago Silva (contract expires 2023)

The priority for Silva was always to keep playing at the highest level to ensure he would be ready to represent Brazil at this year’s World Cup, but his consistently stellar performances at the heart of the Chelsea defence last season suggest that time has not yet defeated the 37-year-old. He is a leader despite his relatively limited English and is loved by Tuchel, so don’t be surprised if he is allowed to stay at Stamford Bridge for as long as he wants to.

Trevoh Chalobah (contract expires 2026)

Arguably the feel-good story of Chelsea’s exhausting 2021-22 season, academy product Chalobah was rewarded with a new long-term contract in November. His minutes dried up a little strangely after the turn of the year but he was broadly satisfied with his 30 appearances across all competitions, including starts in three of the club’s four finals. He will, however, be keeping a close eye on what any summer defensive reinforcements — particularly Kounde — mean for him.

Malang Sarr (contract expires 2025)

Another young defender who featured more for Tuchel than expected, though some of Sarr’s shakier performances reinforced the idea that he isn’t quite ready to be a serious first-team option. The initial plan was for him to head out on loan last season, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he took that path in the coming weeks.

Levi Colwill (contract expires 2025)

One of the few academy prospects Chelsea have on long-term professional terms, Colwill made huge strides in Huddersfield Town’s defence while on loan last season, helping them make the Championship play-off final. Tall, strong, a good reader of danger and very comfortable on the ball, the 19-year-old is the type of defender Chelsea would typically target in the transfer market, so Tuchel will want to take a close look once pre-season begins. Colwill, and those around him, in turn, will be watching closely to see if signings are made that might block his pathway to the first team.

Ethan Ampadu (contract expires 2024)

Chelsea committed to a new three-year deal for Ampadu before farming him out to Venezia in Italy last summer — his second successive loan spell to the worst team in one of Europe’s five major leagues, after spending 2020-21 with Sheffield United. He did play a lot, though, making 29 Serie A appearances including 26 starts. Used primarily in midfield but also at times as a centre-back, right-back and even wing-back, his versatility could appeal to Tuchel. With a historic World Cup with Wales on the horizon, Amapadu’s future will be decided in pre-season.

 

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Midfielders (8)

Jorginho (contract expires 2023)

It’s decision time for Chelsea with Jorginho, who has intimated at various times an eagerness to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge and also a desire to return to Italy after four years in west London.

There is clear interest in him back in Serie A: previous club Napoli could soon have a central midfield vacancy if Fabian Ruiz leaves and Juventus have been admirers for several years. If he does leave, though, it will need to be for a significant fee, as Tuchel rates him highly and any replacement won’t be cheap.

N’Golo Kante (contract expires 2023)

The other half of the club’s 2020-21 Champions League-winning “double six” midfield pairing is in a similar situation, with a less obvious market.

Tuchel absolutely wants to keep Kante and he made clear last month that he still sees the France international as Chelsea’s “key, key, key player” — on par with Kevin De Bruyne for Manchester City or Mohamed Salah for Liverpool. He also made it apparent that Kante’s persistent injury problems are a source of growing frustration. Now he’s 31, though, is that likely to improve? Extending his deal will be no easy decision.

Mateo Kovacic (contract expires 2024)

No talks have yet begun to extend Kovacic’s contract after he emerged as arguably Chelsea’s best, most dynamic and certainly fittest central midfielder last season. He is happy at the club and ready to engage in that conversation when the time comes, but it would probably be in Chelsea’s interests to initiate the process sooner rather than later. If he is allowed to enter Rudiger or Christensen contract territory, there will be no shortage of interest.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (contract expires 2024)

It was a broadly positive season for Loftus-Cheek, who ultimately leapfrogged Atletico Madrid loanee Saul Niguez in Tuchel’s central midfield pecking order and even started at right wing-back against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu — and adapted to the role admirably. The 26-year-old has significant time remaining on his £150,000-a-week deal and is focused on impressing Tuchel in pre-season.

Ross Barkley (contract expires 2023)

This is not what Chelsea envisioned when they paid £15 million to take Barkley from Everton in January 2018, when Antonio Conte was manager. He was considered an established England international in the prime of his career with plenty of resale value then. Today, he is a fringe squad player who has stagnated badly, is on wages that no other clubs appear keen to match, turns 29 in December and has seemingly no desire to facilitate a move somewhere he might feature more regularly. It would be shocking if this wasn’t his final season at Stamford Bridge, though.

Billy Gilmour (contract expires 2024)

Chelsea signalled around three weeks ago that they were triggering the one-year extension clause in Gilmour’s contract, a move that is also believed to have secured him a significant pay rise. He was happy with the decision and wants to fight his way into Tuchel’s first-team plans in pre-season — but if he can’t, another season out on loan is not the most appealing prospect after spending 2021-22 at the foot of the Premier League with relegation-bound Norwich.

Conor Gallagher (contract expires 2025)

Of all last season’s Chelsea loanees, Gallagher looks likeliest to be given a real chance by Tuchel, who was greatly impressed by him in pre-season last summer. Crystal Palace would love to sign him permanently after a brilliant year at Selhurst Park that won him an England call-up, but Chelsea are in a strong position contractually and should be in position to offer him serious minutes for them next season.

Tino Anjorin (contract expires 2025)

Another young player Tuchel has made a point of praising and encouraging during first-team training sessions, Anjorin hasn’t yet had the regular minutes to realise his vast potential. Chelsea gave Lokomotiv Moscow the option to buy him for £17 million when they borrowed him at the start of last season, albeit with an option to bring him back to west London for £34 million. Such a framework could also make sense in any future loan agreement.

 

Edited by Bob Singleton

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Attacking midfielders/wingers (4)

Mason Mount (contract expires 2024)

The clock is ticking for Chelsea with Mount, who was voted the club’s player of the year by supporters for the second year running. Tuchel’s most consistent attacking player, Mount’s production is not reflected in the slightest by the long-term deal he signed way back in summer 2019 that puts him towards the lower end of the first-team pay structure. The club’s new owners would be well advised to make addressing that their top priority as soon as this transfer window closes, because elite clubs in England and Europe are already monitoring the situation.

Christian Pulisic (contract expires 2024)

There is currently no prospect of Pulisic renewing at Chelsea under Tuchel, who continues to regard him as an impact substitute not a starter.

The contract time frame means this summer would probably be the best time to sell the USA captain, but that also depends on a viable market developing for a player bought for £58 million in January 2019. Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp is a long-time admirer, but that possibility appears to have been extinguished by their blockbuster move to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica. Where else makes sense for Pulisic?

Callum Hudson-Odoi (contract expires 2024)

Chelsea are in an even more difficult situation with Hudson-Odoi, whose transfer value has declined virtually ever since he signed a lucrative five-year extension to ward off persistent interest from Bayern Munich in 2019. Tuchel’s system does not particularly suit natural wingers, and Hudson-Odoi’s progress has been further stymied by an achilles problem that proved more serious than initially thought and prematurely ended his 2021-22 in early March. Next season is a big one for him.

Hakim Ziyech (contract expires 2025)

Like close friend Lukaku, Ziyech has not enjoyed a productive relationship with Tuchel and does not seem the cleanest fit in Chelsea’s system. A transfer this summer could work for all parties and, having only paid £33 million to sign him from Ajax two years ago, there is reasonable cause to hope for significant resale value. The question, as with several of Chelsea’s other attackers, is who will step forward to pay an acceptable fee?
 

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Strikers (5)

Timo Werner (contract expires 2025)

It’s fair to say last season was a step back rather than forward at Chelsea for Werner, whose first-team minutes under Tuchel nosedived. He still has plenty of admirers in Germany, but his huge wages put him beyond the financial reach of every Bundesliga club bar Bayern Munich, who are prioritising a move for Liverpool forward Sadio Mane as the post-Robert Lewandowski era looms. Werner remains a useful tactical option and his situation is not at Lukaku levels of unsalvageable, but it’s pretty far from ideal.

Kai Havertz (contract expires 2025)

Lukaku’s struggles helped entrench Havertz as Tuchel’s first-choice centre-forward for most of the matches that matter, and it’s hard to see that changing unless another marquee striker arrives. Havertz has a healthy amount of time left to run on his current deal, leads Chelsea’s pressing system well and, with a little more consistency and composure in the final third, still has time to prove exactly what he was hoped to be.

Romelu Lukaku (contract expires 2026)

What an unmitigated disaster. Lukaku is pushing hard to return to Inter on loan just a year after leaving them and will most likely get his wish, but the terms of the deal will be deeply unfavourable to Chelsea and the path to actually getting out of the gargantuan contract that pays him north of £300,000-a-week for the next four years is no simpler. On the other hand, keeping him as the highest earner in a dressing room full of players more important and useful to Tuchel isn’t tenable either.

Armando Broja (contract expires 2025)

Chelsea did well to commit Broja to a long-term deal last summer, before he went to Southampton on loan and proved he could be effective at Premier League level. Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has made no secret of their interest in signing the Albania international permanently, and he could offer an easy route to raising transfer funds. Broja could also offer a low-cost, high-upside option to helping Tuchel move on from the Lukaku mess without suffering on the pitch.

Michy Batshuayi (contract expires 2023)

We are finally in the end-game of Batshuayi’s career at Chelsea. The club have been happy to keep topping up his contract before sending him out on loan — his 2021-22 season with Besiktas in Turkey was his fifth temporary spell away from Stamford Bridge in the six years he’s been a Chelsea player — and he has been happy to go along with it all, but the combination of new ownership and FIFA’s tightening loan restrictions mean that path is no longer viable or desirable. The best option would be to part ways in this window, even for a modest fee.

 

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That really confirms what an awful lot of work Tuchel and the new owners have in front of them. 

GK2, central defense, central midfield, attacking midfield and winger AND striker needs considerable investment. After the money we’ve spent over the last few years that’s an abysmal outcome. Massive fail for everyone involved. It’ll be considerable time before we are decent challengers. 

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With a bit of vision and foresight we could have been looking at something like the following for next season. A youthful squad spiced up with some top signings. 
 

Gk: Mendy, GK2, Bettinelli

Rb: James, Livramento

Lb: Chilwell, Emerson

Cb: CB1, Silva, Chalobah, Tomori, Guehi

Cm: CM1, Kante, Kovacic, Gallagher, Ampadu

Am: AM1, Mount, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek

S: Havertz, Abraham

24 players, 3 stellar signings for the starting XI with top quality, one back-up GK signing and 11 academy products. It’s a model that makes a lot of sense considering the quality of players the academy is producing but instead we spend a fortune on players who aren’t any better. It’s a model that has to change cause I do not think we will have a squad better than the one I just listed above starting next season. 

 

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2 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

With a bit of vision and foresight we could have been looking at something like the following for next season. A youthful squad spiced up with some top signings. 
 

Gk: Mendy, GK2, Bettinelli

Rb: James, Livramento

Lb: Chilwell, Emerson

Cb: CB1, Silva, Chalobah, Tomori, Guehi

Cm: CM1, Kante, Kovacic, Gallagher, Ampadu

Am: AM1, Mount, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek

S: Havertz, Abraham

24 players, 3 stellar signings for the starting XI with top quality, one back-up GK signing and 11 academy products. It’s a model that makes a lot of sense considering the quality of players the academy is producing but instead we spend a fortune on players who aren’t any better. It’s a model that has to change cause I do not think we will have a squad better than the one I just listed above starting next season. 

 

This is very upsetting! But wait for the people to come on and tell you that Livramento, Tomori, Guehi and Abraham wanted to leave - as if there was no way they could have been convinced they had a future at Chelsea if they could have been given a reserve role in a squad playing 60+ matches per season.

The "Zidanes and Pavons" model of superstars and academy players is the most sustainable way to move forward, especially when the academy is producing 2-3 squad options per scholar intake (for the moment). We just need a coach and club hierarchy willing to push for this.

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14 hours ago, chiswickblue said:

This is very upsetting! But wait for the people to come on and tell you that Livramento, Tomori, Guehi and Abraham wanted to leave - as if there was no way they could have been convinced they had a future at Chelsea if they could have been given a reserve role in a squad playing 60+ matches per season.

The "Zidanes and Pavons" model of superstars and academy players is the most sustainable way to move forward, especially when the academy is producing 2-3 squad options per scholar intake (for the moment). We just need a coach and club hierarchy willing to push for this.

Exactly.

Agree with every word here. Of course we could have managed to convince Tomori, Guehi, Livramento and Abraham that they had a future here. The alternative is too ridiculous to even consider seriously. 

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xCELERYx   
15 hours ago, chiswickblue said:

This is very upsetting! But wait for the people to come on and tell you that Livramento, Tomori, Guehi and Abraham wanted to leave - as if there was no way they could have been convinced they had a future at Chelsea if they could have been given a reserve role in a squad playing 60+ matches per season.

The "Zidanes and Pavons" model of superstars and academy players is the most sustainable way to move forward, especially when the academy is producing 2-3 squad options per scholar intake (for the moment). We just need a coach and club hierarchy willing to push for this.

I'll bite if not for a lack of anything else to do right now.

I mean Livramento literally turned down a new contract in favour of a greater guaranteed playing role at Southampton. Guehi also chose to leave on his own accord and turned down a contract extension because he wanted to be a regular, again not something that was going to happen at the time unless we were going to play him ahead of Rudiger, Thiago Silva or Azpilicueta. He got the exact role he wanted at Crystal Palace, a regular starting role never available here. So both literally couldn't be convinced to stay based and opted to move on, there's literal quotes supporting this (and I posted the other day elsewhere). 

Tomori and Tammy are different again. Tomori was deemed surplus if you will and arguably behind Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Christensen, Azpilicueta and Zouma at the time. While he's gotten some rave reviews, as someone that actually has watched him on more than one or two occasions since arriving at AC Milan he still wouldn't have been a starter here ahead of what we had. His positioning is still a problem and he's far too reliant on his pace bailing him out much like Zouma. He might have of course been a starter in our current environment, but that's also 18 months on from when he left. 

Tammy just didn't seem to be favoured by Tuchel, plain and simple rightly or wrongly. That's part and parcel of football. Serie A is a much better fit for his style imo and if he's got sense he'll remain for a few more years yet. 

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Sciatika   

I usually get to the stage where I just want a squad who are half-decent (or even competitive) and actually want to play for us.

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