Chelsea’s starting XI still has a few deficiencies, but a few more signings could put together a dream starting line-up for Blues fans.
Chelsea’s amazing transfer window rolls on with the signing of Kai Havertz and the introduction of many new players into the starting XI. The Blues have adopted a new, more dynamic and sweeping transfer strategy since the one-year hiatus they underwent away from the market. It may prove that the ban was the best thing that could have happened to the club since Roman Abramovich’s takeover. Thankfully for the team’s fans, the Blues have decided to dramatically alter their transfer strategy and go for the gold for the first time since Antonio Conte’s reign.
Casting aside their previous transfer methodology of late, they have dramatically shifted to signing the best players they can at all positions. This shift quietly began with the purchase of Christian Pulisic in January of 2019 in a deferred transfer of the American star. Then after a FIFA-imposed ban and then a self-decided standstill, Chelsea moved forward with a new more aggressive strategy. The results to-date have been startling, in the best way. Here’s a look at what might be a new, awesome starting XI for the Blues next season assuming they stay active:
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma
This position has to be addressed as neither Kepa Arrizabalaga nor Willy Caballero is a top-flight starting keeper anymore. Arrizabalaga hasn’t done the job and a major upgrade is necessary. Chelsea is reportedly in discussions with Rennes about Edouard Mendy. He would be an upgrade and would likely start. He’d be decent, but this Chelsea squad is not about just being average; it’s about challenging to be great.
The best move here would be to stay with the course—not settle—and spend what it takes to get the next great Chelsea keeper. That would be Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Right back: Reece James
Lampard is creating an offensive juggernaut at Chelsea, along with adding great defensive players to pick up any slack that may result. That leaves Reece James to man the right back post. He’s an explosive force up the right side and adds additional crossing ability—to complement Hakim Ziyech’s—to contribute to the opposition’s nightmares. James starts over Cesar Azpilicueta because of those skills.
Centerback: Thiago Silva
No surprise here: Silva is the best central defender in the squad. He is still one of the best on the planet and therefore, he starts here.
Centerback: Declan Rice
This presupposes that Lampard’s affinity for the terrific, young and versatile defender leads to a move in this window. It’s a move that will pay awesome dividends to the squad.
Left back: Ben Chilwell
Chilwell is evidently the apple of Lampard’s eye, and without a doubt is a talented addition. He starts at left back for England and that’s good enough for Chelsea and should be for its fans. Chilwell starts over Marcos Alonso at left back; anything else and the transfer fee would be unjustified.
Central midfielder: N’Golo Kante
When healthy, Kante is the best defensive midfielder in the world; the challenge is to keep him healthy. Kante’s back in his best position as the central defensive midfielder as opposed to playing a move advanced role.
Attacking midfielder: Mason Mount
Mount proved he belongs last season and will only get better for the club in the future. He adds not only scoring prowess and pace, but also and a tremendous work-rate. He’ll be an asset to Kante on counterattacks for a team that will be an offensive powerhouse. Mount starts in an advanced midfield role as one of the No. 8s.
Attacking midfielder: Kai Havertz
Chelsea splashing the cash on this marvelous all-around footballer is the best thing the club has done this summer. There’s not much he can’t do on a pitch as he can play almost any attacking position with equal aplomb. He starts on the right and has free roam all over the pitch with Mount supporting Kante. Havertz on the right in midfield completes Lampard’s vision of playing with dual Number 8s.
Right winger: Hakim Ziyech
Ziyech is already showing he is as great as previously advertised. The Moroccan is a magician with a ball at his feet. He got things rolling with a masterful performance is just over a half against Brighton in the recent friendly. Hopefully, the knock he picked up in that match is minor and he’ll be ready to go back at Brighton on September 14.
Center forward: Timo Werner
Chelsea has a wealth of talent at the center forward position now. Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud wait in the wings, but the top man is Timo Werner. He is a goal scoring machine and is just entering the onset of his prime. He’s a great player who can also slot in on the left with his versatility to provide a different look and playing time for Giroud or Abraham, as well. He’ll compete for the best transfer and the best player with a bunch of other individuals this season—and he may just win both.
Left wing: Christian Pulisic
The American’s performances after the suspension early this year were spellbinding. He altered his playing style during that break in play and it helped Chelsea secure a Champions League spot. If he’s healthy, Pulisic starts on the left.
What do you think a dream Chelsea XI would look like for the upcoming season? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!