Chelsea have a seemingly never ending list of problems building up at the club’s door. Hazard and Hudson-Odoi’s contract saga, the ageing squad, the fight for top 4 and the transfer scandal. FIFA’s decision to not suspend their transfer ban is still up in the air as the Blues fight to have the summer window as a potential savior. However, Chelsea have to get the next window perfect to prevent consolidation as a Europa League club.
The contract saga
Both Eden Hazard and Hudson-Odoi’s contracts expire in 2020 with both having clear exit paths from Stamford Bridge if they choice to leave. With Real Madrid and Bayern Munich looking to rebuild, Chelsea have to keep both of their stars. Hazard has been the Blues best player since he arrived in West London and his contribution to 48% of his teams goals proves his worth. Even in the limited minutes available, Hudson-Odoi has been effectively and has dominated on Thursday nights. Giving the 18-year-old minutes and proving that the club is still ready for European success will be crucial in keeping both men. Both are crucial to Chelsea’s future and have to stay at the club.
Their recent history of transfers have been a complete juxtaposition. Failures such as Bakayoko, Drinkwater and Zappacosta must be sold to help clear the books and free wages. The loan army also needs to be completely revamped, with only those with routes into the first team being retained. This goes hand-in-hand with Chelsea adding more loan talent to their squad. Reece James can replace Zappacosta with ease, bringing financial and homegrown benefits to the Blues. With Giroud’s contract expiring and Batshuayi likely to be sold, Tammy Abraham deserves to be the 2nd striker at the Bridge next season. His record in the championship is stupendous and his love for the club can no longer be ignored. The sight of many academy graduates playing important roles next season will get the fans on-side and save Chelsea transfer budget.
The three major signings
A change in transfer dealings is essential for the club next summer. Spending £30 million on five or six players is not efficient or required to fix this squad. Instead, a starting LB, goal-scoring LCM and the striker dilemma need to be sorted in the summer window. Despite Emerson’s recent breakthrough into the starting XI, a new LB is needed. Manchester City spent £50 million on both Walker and Mendy, showing the importance of fullbacks in the modern game. Beating competition to the signing of Ferland Mendy would be a major acquisition for the Blues. However, Alex Telles would be a great option to replace Alonso and upgrade the LB position.
Chelsea’s midfield goals have been splintered this season with the LCM not proving enough output. Ajax’s starlet Ziyech would offer immense offensive contributions to the team in goals and assists. This would help lift Hazard’s burden of providing 48% of the output this season. With Barkely and Kovacic’s output being disappointing, the Moroccan would be a steal in the current market. Another option for this role could be Fekir due to his medical issues with Liverpool making him available. His incredible performance and goal at the Etihad earlier this season showed his quality and potential usefulness to Sarri’s system.
The striker struggles have existed for the club ever since the sale of Diego Costa in 2017. Higuain appears capable to an extent to fulfill the striker role the team craves. However, a different profile could reignite the Blues. Chelsea should pursuit Luka Jovic as he replicates an Aguero/Suarez mold that the Blues have been missing. The drama of Icardi could make him available in the summer with a £100 million release clause. Therefore there is still few options for ST this summer.