Chelsea: Two positions rumored to be up for renewal this summer

Chelsea will likely be looking for a player or several this summer to round out an already strong Champions League winning squad. A recent article took a look at the striker position, which looks like it will be overhauled this summer under Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel has put two strikers in the deep freeze—Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud—and neither may be back in the fold under the German. That leaves a hole for one or possibly even two additions. A few options were explored previously (e.g. Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Danny Ings and Dominic Calvert-Lewin) but it was certainly not an exhaustive list.

In addition, two other positions seem to warrant an addition. While not necessarily because of the lack of quality at those spots, but perhaps because of a lack of confidence in that quality by Tuchel. It’s that old dynamic of when a new manager enters the picture, players’ fortunes change. This cycle continues every time there is a managerial shift at Stamford Bridge, which is quite often.

Two additional Chelsea positions that may be bolstered by Tuchel this summer.

In addition to a striker, one position rumored to be on Chelsea’s radar is that of a defensive midfielder. Before discussing viable transfer options, let’s take a look at the Blues’ defensive midfield situation first. At a glance, there may appear to be no need to augment this position with the excellent stable on board. These include N’Golo Kante, the best on the planet, along with Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and the dynamic youngster, Billy Gilmour. That’s quite a formidable quartet for any manager to be able to deploy with strength in numbers.

It can certainly be questioned whether any additions at all are necessary if no one leaves the club this summer. Yet, one name that constantly appears is Declan Rice of West Ham. Rice is a terrific young player, a close friend of Mason Mount, yet highly valued by the Hammers. Rice’s transfer is sure to demand a handsome fee with David Moyes incredibly fond of the 22-year-old.

The rumored cost of prying Rice away from the Hammers on a straight cash deal could be upward of £100 million. Fabrizio Romano recently indicated that Rice is on the Blues’ shortlist, but at what price would they buy? The addition of a Chelsea player(s) in the deal might bring the cost down. Another recent addition to the list is Julian Weigl of Benfica. Weigl played at Dortmund for Tuchel, so the Blues’ gaffer certainly will know the player and his qualities. Should Chelsea splash megabucks on a striker, and still feel a need for a defensive midfielder, Weigl would seem to be a perfect option at a rumored £25 million or so.

Another rumored spot that needs addressed is central defense. Looking at the available players on Chelsea’s squad, at first glance, there again appears to be a wealth of riches. The starters ostensibly would be Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and the ageless Thiago Silva. Since Silva’s minutes at age 36 must be managed, depth including Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma is available. Zouma became out of favor after Tuchel’s arrival though. On paper (though not necessarily in the manager’s thinking), there is top talent and superior depth available. Yet, players who in one manager’s eyes are superb in the next one’s may just be someone taking up a roster position.

If someone is sent packing, who might be a good addition? It is well known that Niklas Sule of Bayern Munich would be a good fit. Sule is rumored to be available and in Chelsea’s thinking, he makes sense. Tuchel would know the big defender from his time in the Bundesliga. Sule is also a champion several times over with the Bavarians. He’s only 25 years old, and he’s a solid player with an attribute that can’t be taught: size. Sule is listed at 6’4 in height and is a strong player who will fit in any rotation. Sule would be another big, tough enforcer to partner with Rudiger in that regard.

 

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