How Chelsea could line up next season with Jan Oblak

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Whereas the coronavirus pandemic appears to have hampered the transfer plans of most clubs in world football, Chelsea continue to press ahead with their targets as they look to close the gap on the elite teams both at home and in Europe.

After successive transfer windows without signing a single player, the Blues have already secured the signatures of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, and reports suggest that there could be plenty more spending to come.

A new left-back, centre-back and another attacking midfielder are all thought to be on the agenda, but Frank Lampard’s priority may have switched to a new goalkeeper following Kepa Arrizabalaga’s underwhelming performances this season.

Chelsea are understood to have identified a three-man shortlist for their next shot-stopper, including Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how they could line up with the Slovakia international between the sticks.

Oblak would undoubtedly come straight in as first-choice goalkeeper, and his displays in recent years suggest that he would provide a much more stubborn final line of defence than Kepa has since his world-record arrival two years ago.

Most of the positions in front of Oblak would still be up in the air, though, while the formation itself is something Lampard must decide on having had success with 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 this season.

The problem with the latter is that it limits the number of central midfielders which, when you consider that Chelsea have N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour all battling for a place, leaves the Blues particularly bloated in that area of the field.

The rumoured interest in Kai Havertz would only add to the competition for places both in midfield and in the front three, where Werner and Ziyech will expect to start following their arrivals.

Christian Pulisic has been in fine form since the restart and, with age on his side, looks set to nail down that left-wing spot, but Callum Hudson-Odoi is another option on that side of the pitch.

Recent reports have claimed that Willian could yet stay at the club as well to challenge Ziyech for a place on the right, while Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud will act as back-up to Werner.

It is in defence where most of Chelsea’s problems have come this season, though, and while this looks like a fearsome attacking lineup it may take more than just the addition of Oblak – or Nick Pope or Andre Onana for that matter – to solve those issues.

CHE XI w/Oblak

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