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Mykhailo Mudryk, Reece James, Pulisic – Chelsea injury news and return dates ahead of West Ham

For the first time in a number of months, Graham Potter looks to no longer have more than 10 players on the injury list with Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling all making their returns last week. James was deemed fit enough to start against Fulham, while Chilwell and Sterling returned to action with cameos from the bench.

The Blues remain without Armando Broja, N’Golo Kante, Denis Zakaria, Edouard Mendy, Christian Pulisic and Wesley Fofana, but the latter looks set to be the next player to make a matchday squad return with the Frenchman now back training on the grass.

Following their goalless draw with Fulham, another London derby awaits with Chelsea set to travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham, who are also suffering from a number of injuries to key players.

With that said, we have taken a look at the latest injury news from Stamford Bridge ahead of Potter doing battle with David Moyes on Saturday.

Mykhailo Mudryk

Mudryk was brought off at half-time in the Blues’ clash with Fulham. At first, the decision to replace the winger appeared to be tactical but Potter later confirmed otherwise.

The 22-year-old posted an Instagram story on Monday of what looks to be the grass pitches at Cobham which could indicate he is back to 100 per cent and training again.

What Potter has said: “He’s had a heavy cold this week and he was just feeling heavy-legged at half time and we didn’t want to take a chance. He’s still in the process where we’re building up his minutes after the break he was on in Ukraine. So that was our decision there.”

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Reece James

James was named in the starting line-up against Fulham and he was brought off at the hour mark. The Blues will be looking to ease the right-back back in the frame amid worries that he could trigger another injury.

What Potter said: “Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] are back in the squad, not ready for 90 minutes but in the squad.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Ben Chilwell

Cucurella was preferred to Chilwell against Fulham but the Englishman made his return from injury as a substitute late into the second-half.

What Potter said: “Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] are back in the squad, not ready for 90 minutes but in the squad.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Raheem Sterling

Potter also welcomed back Sterling to his squad and the former Man City man got his first taste of minutes in over a month as he came on against Fulham in the second-half.

What Potter said: “Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] are back in the squad, not ready for 90 minutes but in the squad.”

Injury: Hamstring

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Christian Pulisic

Pulisic has issued a two-word hint on his Chelsea return date as he continues to nurse a knee injury. The 24-year-old came off second best in a collision with John Stones when the Blues locked horns with Manchester City in the Premier League earlier last month.

The winger has posted an image on himself from when he limped off the pitch against City. Pulisic simply captioned his post: “Back soon.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CoPnUKIokSf/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

What Potter said: “No chance, no, he will be out past that [January transfer deadline] and there was never any consideration about him leaving anyway. He is a couple of months out.

“He is disappointed but he is optimistic about coming back quicker than two months. He is in that phase where he is keeping his fingers crossed and hoping his rehab goes well.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: March

N’Golo Kante

Kante has suffered an injury-ridden campaign thus far but the midfielder has finally returned to the pitches at Cobham, albeit training alone. The Frenchman is getting closer to full fitness but, until he joins the first-team group, a debut under Potter is left to be desired.

What Potter said: “N’Golo did his first couple of days out training on his own but there is still a long, long way to go.”

Injury: Hamstring

Expected return date: Early March

Wesley Fofana

Having missed most of the season so far, former Leicester man Wesley Fofana’s influence at the back has been somewhat felt in his absence. However, in a huge boost to the Blues and the defender himself, it appears as though a return is just around the corner, having been pictured in training again.

He was not named in the squad to face Fulham. However, the Frenchman has seemingly now joined full first-team training after judging by his latest Instagram story.

What Potter said: “Wesley [Fofana] has been part training partly with the team and he will be stepping it up next week.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Denis Zakaria

The Chelsea loanee has impressed, forcing his way into the first-team after a slow start to his career at Stamford Bridge. However, in a huge blow to the side, he was forced off after 56 minutes in the defeat to Fulham last month.

What Potter said: “Denis is going to be probably four weeks. It’s the top of his quad and that is a blow for us. Hopefully, he can return sooner.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: February

Edouard Mendy

Chelsea confirmed that Mendy had undergone an operation on a fractured finger sustained during training, meaning he will be absent from the squad in the coming games. The Senegalese shot-stopper was not in the squad to face Fulham.

Injury: Finger

Expected return date: Unknown

Armando Broja

Chelsea are set to be without Broja for sometime after the striker suffered a knee injury in a mid-season friendly against Aston Villa. The 20-year-old screamed in pain following a collision with Ezri Konsa and he was subsequently stretchered off the field of play.

He looked to be in considerable pain and was seen to be clutching his leg as he was tended to by medical staff. The Albania international had no history of knee injuries and his injury is a major blow with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of form.

Broja is expected to be out for at least the remainder of the season after learning that he needs surgery to fix a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee, football.london understands. He could be out of action for a minimum of five months and a maximum of 12.

What Potter said: ”It was just an unfortunate action. He got caught up with their player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment but it’s too early to say. Fingers crossed but it is an awkward one.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Summer/Autumn 2023

 

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Full Chelsea squad revealed for Fulham clash amid Enzo Fernandez wait and Reece James return

Two weeks off for Chelsea comes to an end as they face west London rivals Fulham at Stamford Bridge in the hope of sparking further optimism at SW6. Having drawn to Liverpool at Anfield last time out, the Blues have secured three new signings since they last played.

Noni Madueke has had plenty of time on the training pitch to meet his new teammates after he was officially announced while Malo Gusto also signed but won’t be available. The Frenchman is back out on loan at Lyon for the rest of the season – but the Premier League’s most expensive player ever could make his debut.

Enzo Fernandez was the big deadline day story to follow and his remarkable saga came to a conclusion on Tuesday night when a £106.8million deal was agreed. It’s not yet certain whether he will be involved against Marco Silva’s men though.

Speaking ahead of the game Graham Potter said: “We’ll see. We’ve got to go through the paperwork and he needs to get clearance and all that. I’ve spoken to him.”

With Jorginho leaving to join Arsenal on deadline day too it was one-in-one-out in the midfield and therefore the Blues would benefit greatly if their Argentine superstar is available. Elsewhere, Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk could make their first starts for the club.

Here’s the full squad available.

Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Edouard Mendy, Marcus Bettinelli, Gabriel Slonina

Defenders: Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James, Thiago Silva, Benoit Badiashile, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, Lewis Hall, Ben Chilwell

Midfielders: Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Enzo Fernandez, Carney Chukwuemeka

Attackers: Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, David Datro Fofana, Omari Hutchinson.

 

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James, Chilwell, Sterling – Chelsea injury news and expected return dates ahead of Fulham clash

Chelsea have suffered a plethora of injuries to key players in recent times.

The likes of Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana, Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all been sidelined at various times this season, although Graham Potter’s side have been boosted by Chilwell, James, Sterling and Fofana all returning to training.

The Blues have also brought in several new players to the squad during the January transfer window, bringing in talented Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk and Portuguese attacker Joao Felixamongst others. The west London outfit are next in action when they face Fulham on February 3 at Stamford Bridge and football.london takes you through all the Blues injury news and updates ahead of that Premier League fixture.

Trevoh Chalobah

Chalobah was forced off after going down off-the-ball against Liverpool and it has since been confirmed that he was merely suffering from cramp. He received treatment from the club physio and was replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta in the final 10 minutes of action.

What Potter said: “I don’t know to be honest. I’ve had to come out and speak to you guys.”

Injury: Cramp

Expected return date: Fulham – February 3

Reece James

James suffered a knee injury in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over AC Milan last year following a collision with Theo Hernandez. Then, upon his return after the World Cup, he pulled up against Bournemouth triggering another injury.

The 23-year-old returned to the pitches at Cobham ahead of the defeat to Fulham, but he was still training alone. Then, ahead of the tie with Liverpool, he first began to feature in first-team training again.

Still, Chelsea are hopeful of James featuring in some capacity for their next Premier League fixture against Fulham on February 3.

What Potter said: “The boys are progressing well. Reece [James] has joined team training but won’t be involved at the weekend [against Liverpool].”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Fulham – February 3

Ben Chilwell

Over the last few days, Chilwell has also been pictured back in first-team training again. The defender has missed large parts of the season so he’ll be keen to return to match fitness and help Chelsea’s chances of claiming a place in the top four.

Chelsea are also hopeful of Chilwell featuring against Fulham too.

What Potter said: “The boys are progressing well. Reece [James] has joined team training but won’t be involved at the weekend. Same for Ben Chilwell.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: Fulham – February 3

N’Golo Kante

Kante has suffered an injury-ridden campaign this far but the midfielder has finally returned to the pitches at Cobham, albeit training alone. The Frenchman is getting closer to full fitness but, until he joins the first-team group, a debut under Potter is left to be desired.

What Potter said: “N’Golo did his first couple of days out training on his own but there is still a long, long way to go.”

Injury: Hamstring

Expected return date: Early March

Wesley Fofana

Having missed most of the season so far, former Leicester man Wesley Fofana’s influence at the back has been somewhat felt in his absence. However, in a huge boost to the Blues and the defender himself, it appears as though a return is just around the corner, having been pictured in training again.

According to the Evening Standard, Fofana is hoping to make his return within the next fortnight. The French defender has now been spotted taking part in first team training, but may not be available for selection against Fulham

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Denis Zakaria

The Chelsea loanee has impressed in recent weeks, forcing his way into the first-team after a slow start to his career at Stamford Bridge. However, in a huge blow to the side, he was forced off after 56 minutes in the defeat to Fulham and has handed a major blow to Potter’s midfield options.

What Potter said: “Denis is going to be probably four weeks. It’s the top of his quad and that is a blow for us. Hopefully, he can return sooner.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: February

Christian Pulisic

Pulisic was subbed off with an injury in the Premier League defeat to Manchester City, coming off worse in a tackle by John Stones. The United States international was visibly distressed as he went down twice following the challenge.

He was eventually replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka and also was absent from the matchday squad for the FA Cup clash against City. He is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

What Potter said: “No chance, no, he will be out past that [January transfer deadline] and there was never any consideration about him leaving anyway. He is a couple of months out.

“He is disappointed but he is optimistic about coming back quicker than two months. He is in that phase where he is keeping his fingers crossed and hoping his rehab goes well.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: March

Raheem Sterling

Sterling was replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inside the opening couple of minutes in the same fixture Chelsea lost Pulisic. The 28-year-old winger fell to the floor with a grimace on his face following a collision with John Stones.

However, Sterling is now expected to step up his recovery from his hamstring injury in the coming days, football.london understands and it is hope

d that he can return to team training by the start of next week. The England international has now returned to the grass and will take part in light individual training with a view to return to Potter’s squad in the coming weeks, the club confirmed on Thursday.

What Potter said: “Raheem less [than Pulisic] but we’re still evaluating the extent of it. Hopefully less than that, though.”

Injury: Hamstring

Expected return date: West Ham (A) – February 11

Edouard Mendy

Chelsea confirmed that Mendy had undergone an operation on a fractured finger sustained during training, meaning he will be absent from the squad in the coming games.

The Senegalese shot-stopper missed the Bournemouth match and didn’t even make the bench against Forest. He had previously come back from international duty in October with an injury but played for his club since then despite being replaced as No.1 by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Injury: Finger

Expected return date: Unknown

Armando Broja

Having pulled up nastily in the side’s mid-season friendly against Aston Villa, Armando Broja could be heard reeling in pain as his knee injury more than definitely curtailed his 22/23 season. Having made quite the impression under Potter, it was a sad blow for the former Southampton loanee.

What Potter said: ”It was just an unfortunate action. He got caught up with their player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment but it’s too early to say. Fingers crossed but it is an awkward one.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Summer/Autumn 2023

 

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Graham Potter has £90m Chelsea duo boost to complete ideal Reece James Abu Dhabi plan

Chelsea are set to travel to the Persian Gulf soon as preparations begin ahead of the Blues return to Premier League action after Christmas.

Graham Potter will take his squad comprised of names not in Qatar for the World Cup to Abu Dhabi for warm weather training and a friendly against Aston Villa, competing for the CBF Al Wahda Challenge Cup on Sunday December 11th, at the kick-off time of 6.10pm.

Despite having 15 names at the World Cup, Chelsea still boast a large enough squad to field a pretty strong eleven in the friendly, hopefully leading to a strong display against Bournemouth on the 27th of December.

Chelsea will be highly aided by the boost of returning key players from injury which ruled them out of likely selection at the World Cup for their nations.

Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Ben Chilwell all suffered cruel injury blows in the opening months of the season, and all three defenders are aiming to be back fit when club football resumes.

Clips have already circulated online of Fofana in training at Cobham and Chilwell continuing his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, running on a treadmill. James is the biggest of the injured trio returning for selection given his electric form before the knee setback suffered at the San Siro in October.

The 22-year-old has become an essential part of Chelsea’s system in recent years, dominating the right flank by offering defensive security, goals and creativity. All of those traits were lost following his absence, as Potter failed to sustain the upturn in form witnessed after his appointment in September.

Chelsea only won one of their six Premier League fixtures without James, losing half of them, only scoring one goal in the 4-1 defeat to Brighton.

The return of Fofana in defence will be a big relief to Potter whose options in that area were becoming slim. Signed from Leicester for £70million in August, the French defender had his opening months at Chelsea cut short by a knee problem and is likely in line to start against Bournemouth.

Another summer signing who could use this unique period to impress is Carney Chukwuemeka who is yet to start a game for Chelsea since his £20million move from Aston Villa in July. The 19-year-old midfielder has shown glimpses of his talent from the bench under Potter so far but offers a wildcard option in a vital area.

Along with returning names, senior figures such as Jorginho and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been able to gain some rest during the World Cup and will also feature heavily.

Although most of the world’s attention will remain in Qatar until the 18th of December, Chelsea’s preparations beginning next week offer the chance for some fringe names to change the course of their season.

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Reece James injury update as Chelsea star learns return date amid England World Cup dilemma

Reece James has been handed fresh hope of making the England squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. The 22-year-old defender suffered a knee injury in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over AC Milan last month following a collision with Theo Hernandez.

He was set to be out of action for eight weeks and a call-up from Gareth Southgate looked unlikely. After being flown out to Dubai to step up his rehabilitation, James has been recovering ahead of schedule.

It’s said that the Cobham graduate has been working in the gym and the pool as the Blues send the FA frequent reports regarding the right-back’s fitness and knee stability. And, according to The Sun, James has been told he could be fit in three weeks.

If the report is to be believed then the Chelsea star will miss all three of the Three Lions’ group stage fixtures. England are set to face Iran on November 21, the United States on November 25 and Wales on November 29.

With the Chelsea star in a race against time, Southgate has been handed a huge dilemma as to whether he risks handing James a place in the 26-man squad. Fellow right-back Kyle Walker is also racing to secure a place in the squad having recently returned from injury.

Speaking on a YouTube video, James admitted that a surgeon told him that he could be out for two months. He said: “Last week I went in for a tackle against AC Milan when I got injured.

“I didn’t think it was too bad after the game, I stayed an extra day in Milan and thought maybe it was just a little niggle. I think a day or two later I saw a surgeon. He told me that I was going to be out for around two months.”

James has started in each of England’s previous four UEFA Nations League fixtures, featuring in both a back-five and back-four. It can be said that the Chelsea star is trusted by Southgate and his versatility could prove pivotal when deciding whether to gamble on his availability.

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Chelsea set to be without 5 injured players for Arsenal clash

Graham Potter gave an injury update on Ben Chilwell, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Denis Zakaria ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal on Sunday.

Despite having already topped their Champions League group, Chelsea opted to name a relatively strong side against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

That ended up having consequences, as Ben Chilwell and Denis Zakaria seemingly went off with injuries. After the game, Chelsea boss Graham Potter revealed that it was likely bad news for Chilwell, but not for Zakaria.

“Obviously, when [Chilwell] pulls up like that it’s a concern,” Potter admitted. “Obviously, we need to scan it but it’s not positive at the moment.

“To see him pull up like that, it’s not a great sight. So fingers crossed when we get it scanned it isn’t too bad. It can be not as severe but we have to cross our fingers at the moment.

“[Zakaria] just got a kick. Just the contact. He was fine. No problems with him.”

The other piece of injury news related to one of Wednesday’s absentees, Kepa Arrizabalaga. Potter ruled the goalkeeper out of the Arsenal clash on Sunday, but he played down fears raised by the sight of the Spaniard on crutches.

“He won’t be okay for Sunday,” Potter confirmed. “It’s only precautionary in terms of keeping the weight off it, the bottom of his foot. He is progressing well.”

Chelsea have a few other players out at the moment, with Wesley Fofana, Reece James, and N’Golo Kante all set to miss the Arsenal clash.

However, Mateo Kovacic should be available again, as he was only absent against Dinamo Zagreb as a precaution.

In summary, it looks like Chilwell, Kepa, Fofana, James, and Kante will all miss the Arsenal match. Kovacic should be available to start, whilst Zakaria is also likely to be fit for the squad, but may not start given Wednesday was only his debut for Chelsea.

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Koulibaly, James, Fofana – Chelsea injury round-up and expected return dates

Chelsea secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League in midweek with a game to spare following their 2-1 defeat of RB Salzburg on Tuesday.

But the Blues remained without four of their first team players for that clash in Austria, three of which are defenders, and now manager Graham Potter will be hoping to see no further casualties added to that list ahead of his return to Brighton this weekend.

Here is all you need to know about the current state of play at Stamford Bridge and the expected return dates for those out on the sidelines.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly remains a doubt ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton

Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly has had a mixed start to life in west London since his big money move from Napoli in the summer and he could be set to miss out on another game for the Blues as he struggles with a knee injury.

The 31-year-old played the full 90 minutes of last week’s 0-0 draw with Brentford but sustained the knee issue following the game and has since missed Chelsea’s last two fixtures. It is hoped he will return to training this week, although he remains a doubt for the trip to Brighton on Saturday.

Speaking on Monday, Potter said: “It’s not too serious. This game was too soon for him. We’re hoping to get him on the grass Wednesday or Thursday, but he’s obviously not available for tomorrow night.”

Reece James

Reece James is also sidelined with a knee injury and is continuing his recovery as he aims to work his way back to full fitness in time for the World Cup next month.

The England international suffered the injury during the 2-0 victory over AC Milan on October 11, with the right back missing Chelsea’s last four fixtures as a result, and will not feature again for the Blues until December.

Speaking on October 21, Potter said: “He’ll be in a brace for four weeks to stabilise the knee, then it’s rehab that will take eight weeks, we think.”

Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana is unlikely to return before the World Cup

Wesley Fofana is the third Chelsea defender who is sidelined with injury and, like James, is also expected to remain out until after the World Cup as he continues his recovery from a knee issue which he picked up in the 3-0 victory over AC Milan on October 5.

The centre back was forced off before the end of the first half during that game and has since missed Chelsea’s last six fixtures. Although Potter initially believed there may be an outside chance that Fofana could return before the World Cup, the chances of that happening are now highly unlikely.

Speaking on October 14, Potter said: “He’s progressing where he was. I don’t think we will see him before the World Cup in terms of playing for Chelsea.”

N’Golo Kante

Blues midfielder N’Golo Kante will not feature again until 2023 after it was revealed that he will be sidelined for another four months after undergoing successful surgery on his hamstring injury.

The Frenchman returned to first team training at the start of October following his lengthy lay-off from the initial injury he sustained back in August, but picked up a fresh problem earlier this month and has been forced out of action until at least February.

On October 18, an official club statement read: “N’Golo Kante has undergone an operation on his hamstring injury. Following a successful operation, N’Golo is now expected to be sidelined for four months.”

 

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Chelsea dealt huge injury blow ahead of Aston Villa clash

Chelsea could be without England international Reece James for the upcoming fixture against Aston Villa this weekend.

James has been a key member of the squad for both Thomas Tuchel and his successor Graham Potter throughout the season so far, starting ten of his 11 appearances in all competitions.

However, he could be set for a period on the sidelines after the full-back was forced off the pitch during Chelsea’s Champions League clash against AC Milan at the San Siro last night.

James had previously gone down in the first half with what appeared to be a face injury, but went on to be substituted just after the break for Cesar Azpilicueta after going down once again with an issue to his knee.

The player will now have scans to assess the problem, with the Chelsea boss remaining upbeat when questioned about the injury following the 2-0 win. “We’re hoping Reece will be OK. It will be 24, 48 hours to find out, so it’s too early to give you anything more than that,” said Potter.

Chelsea will travel to Villa Park on Sunday (2pm kick-off) to take on Steven Gerrard’s squad, with James now facing a race against time to be declared fit for the fixture.

 

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Kovacic, Jorginho And James To Start | 4-2-3-1 Chelsea Predicted Lineup Vs AC Milan

Chelsea will face off against AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday night as they look to keep their good form going across all competitions. The Blues managed to secure a convincing 3-0 win over AC Milan last week and went on to secure a 3-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League recently as well. Hence, we can expect them to be full of confidence ahead of this clash away in Milan.

Graham Potter will set his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and could make a few changes to his first XI for this game. Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, and Reece James will all play from the start in this match as Potter looks to rotate his team for this European clash on the road.

4-2-3-1 Chelsea Predicted Lineup To Face AC Milan

Defence

Kepa Arrizabalaga will operate in between the sticks for the Milan giants after keeping back-to-back clean sheets at home. Trevoh Chalobah could continue to play alongside Kalidou Koulibaly at the centre of Chelsea’s defence as they hope to keep things solid during the 90 minutes.

Reece James could get a chance to impress at right-back while Marc Cucurella fills in on the other flank as the left-back. Both of them will get the license to get forward and express themselves in the Milan half.

Cesar Azpilicueta could drop to the bench as he offers cover for the defensive positions.

Midfield

Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic will anchor the midfield for the West London club as they focus on dominating the ball at the centre of the park and engineer some clear-cut chances on the attacking third of the field.

The talented trio of Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher could function just ahead of them as part of Chelsea’s attack. Gallagher managed to impress with his performance versus Wolves and would be eager to do well in this European game at San Siro.

Both Sterling and Mount will have to carry the creative burden for the Blues in the final third.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will have to settle for a spot on the bench as he waits for his chance to shine in the second 45 minutes if required.

Attack

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will get the nod to lead the charge for the West London club in the final third. The Gabon striker has to find a way to cause a few problems for the Milan defenders throughout the game.

Kai Havertz will be named on the bench and might come on to influence the game in the latter stages if needed.

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Rice signs, Kounde deal, Pulisic decision: How Chelsea dream rebuild looks with £298m overhaul

Chelsea are closing in on one of the most significant transfer windows in the club’s history, and it will be here before we know it. Despite the fact that the west London club is embroiled in a takeover crisis, Thomas Tuchel will be looking to add to his squad in the coming summer.

Consequently, we looked into what the Blues’ ideal 25-man team might look like at the start of the next campaign. Whatever the case may be with Declan Rice, Romelu Lukaku, or Callum Hudson-Odoi, difficult choices will need to be made.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy, Nathan Baxter, and Marcus Bettinelli

Edouard Mendy has played a crucial role in the bulk of Chelsea’s victories since joining from Rennes in 2020 for a bargain-basement £22 million. The 30-year-old shot-stopper has developed into one of the world’s best goalkeepers, and his inclusion in Thomas Tuchel’s 25-man roster should come as no surprise.

We hear that Juventus are keeping eyes on Kepa Arrizabalaga in the hopes of bringing him in on loan, while Maurizio Sarri is still open to the prospect of rejoining with the goalkeeper at Lazio, as football.london has learned. The Spanish club Barcelona has also shown an interest in signing the player, but nothing concrete is anticipated to happen until they get an attractive offer for their first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Given this, Chelsea could try to unload the Spaniard and bring in loanee Nathan Baxter to serve as a backup to Mendy. In an interview with The League of 72, which can be seen on YouTube, Baxter said that he is ready to compete for a starting position.

The 23-year-old expressed himself as follows: “From my perspective, I feel I am talented enough to play for Chelsea, and that continues to be my ambition. However, if it is determined that this is not the best path ahead for me, the [Hull] supporters will be able to see how much I like playing for this football club.

“However, from my perspective, it is all about having fun with games. In the event that I am forced to transfer somewhere, whether on loan or on a permanent basis, my first aim is to find a club where I can play every week.”

Defenders; Reece James, Dujon Sterling, Ben Chilwell, Ian Maatsen, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Levi Colwill, Jules Kounde, Josko Gvardiol, Ethan Ampadu

A large portion of Chelsea’s defensive line speaks for itself heading into next season. With Dujon Sterling, Ian Maatsen, Ethan Ampadu, and Levi Colwill all returning from loan spells in the summer, the four can provide Tuchel with a nice balance across a variety of positions.

A pair of statement acquisitions to give insurance for Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen would also be beneficial to the west Londoners in the short term. According to the CIES Football Observatory, Kounde and Gvardiol, both of whom Chelsea have been prominently associated with recently, would boost Tuchel’s choices while also adding to a long-term project estimated to cost an estimate £79 million minimum.

Midfielders: Declan Rice, Aurelien Tchouameni, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Conor Gallagher

A perfect scenario would be one in which the new Chelsea owners bring in both Rice and Tchouameni to the club. However, with a combined worth of £119 million and a slew of other circumstances beyond of the Blues’ control, it is improbable that this will happen. Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, both of whom have performed well this season, both deserve to be included in Tuchel’s squad.

According to sources, Jorginho’s future at Chelsea is becoming more questionable, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, and Juventus all all interested in signing him. Meanwhile, Saul Niguez wll return to Atletico Madrid and Ross Barkley has been given a way out of his current predicament.

Forwards: Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Armando Broja, and Ousmane Dembele

Tuchel’s ability to keep hold of Havertz, Mount, and Ziyech will be critical in his success next season. Chelsea should be motivated to spend wisely this summer, given the speculation surrounding the departures of Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku, and Christian Pulisic.

It will be critical to have Broja included in the 25-man roster. Dembele, who has been extensively linked with a move to Chelsea, would be an excellent addition if he were to become available on a free transfer.