Wesley Fofana, Right centerback, France
Fofana is again a straight-forward choice, largely because of his price tag and wages, hence his status. The acumen of his reading of the game is well documented, and a unique thing about him last season was the fact that he won double the amount of fouls he made, making 0.7 fouls per game but getting fouled 1.4 times per game, which is unusual for a centerback. Chelsea also needs to continue to watch Fofana’s fitness so that he can be available as many times as the Blues need him.
Benoit Badiashile, Left centerback, France
Yes, the 6 ft. 5 centerback is currently injured, but he’s expected to return for the start of the 2023/24 season. There’s a strange push to insinuate that Levi Colwill should start over Badiashile if it became a choice. A push that is supported by nothing concrete. From reading of the game and dueling, to passing, Badiashile is comfortably the better player. This is not a knock on Colwill, as the former AS Monaco centerback is superb at what he does. Colwill is still a very good centerback, and will continue to develop as he plays, but the record needs to be set straight, as Badiashile is currently Chelsea’s best centerback.
Ben Chilwell, Left back, England
Another easy choice here. Chelsea suffered a lot in previous seasons when the former Leicester City defender got injured. He also has the issue of fitness, though everyone hopes that next season will be different when it comes to managing players injuries and recoveries.
Enzo Fernandez, Central midfielder, Argentina
Fernandez has already shown what he can do, and has become more valuable to the club the more central midfielders that have gone. Fernandez seems to prefer a free role, which is difficult to negotiate when you play in a pivot, but he contributes so much to build up that there’s a case to be made that he should be the more forward playing midfielder in the pivot. His central midfield partner is the point of concern.
Trevoh Chalobah, Central midfielder, England
Chalobah played at central midfield for Ligue 1 club Lorient in the 2020/21 season. As things stand, the Blues No. 14 is the best possible player at the club who can reasonably partner Fernandez in midfield. According to Sofascore, at Lorient, he won an impressive 3.7 ground duels per game at a 61% rate, that is superb for a central midfielder. His ball carrying that season was also top class, completing 73% of his dribbles attempted per game. He made 2.4 interceptions per game, and that volume of interceptions is extremely valuable to a team. Chalobah’s passing is very good, and more than good enough to be the pivot partner of a superb passer like Fernandez.