4 defenders Chelsea should sell/loan ahead of the 2023/24 season

Chelsea (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images) /

Chelsea has completed two defensive outgoings, including goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and center back Kalidou Koulibaly. However, the West London club still has a whopping 39 players on their roster.

With the club still bloated in the defensive area, there are still several more departures that need to happen to snap the squad to a perfect size ahead of the 2023/24 season. Here are four defenders the Blues should either sell or loan, before the new season starts:

4 defenders Chelsea must loan or sell

Thiago Silva, Centerback, Brazil (Sell)

Sales are arranged for different reasons, for some it’s underperformance, but for Silva, it is to let him leave on a high. Silva has been one of the most consistent centerbacks at the club for the past three years, and having arrived at 35 years old, it means he was already in the twilight of his career when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.

His time in west London has been filled with many good, trophy-winning memories. That he has stayed this long shows how well the he and the club have managed his body and his fitness respectively. However, toward the end of last season, Silva showed that he is now slowing down, but many still did not notice.

Not noticing is good, because it means that he can leave while it can still be said that he was still very good when he left Chelsea at 38 years old. The fact is, Todd Boehly and the club cannot continue to hope Silva can play 30 league games in a season, and the earlier the Blues move on from him, the earlier the fans can get used to seeing the lineups without the fan favourite in it.

Abdul Baba Rahman, Left back, Ghana (Sell)

Rahman has been at the club for 8 years, and has gone on seven loans. Need I say more? It’s time to let him go somewhere else, so that he can settle into a new team and start building relationships.

He’s 28 years old now, and he has been traveling around the world for the better part of eight years. His presence at the club is not benefitting the club, neither is it benefiting him as a player. The fact that there are always clubs willing to take him on loan suggests that there would not be a shortage of suitors for him, any money Chelsea gets for the Ghanaian is good money.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Right back, Spain (Sell)

There are reports that Chelsea is making arrangements to terminate the club captain’s contract, which is the best thing, as it gives him the freedom to go to the club of his choice without needing to wait for his new club to negotiate transfer fees.

The club legend deserves to leave on his own terms, and at 33 years old, he leaves knowing that he more than gave everything. The Blues cannot expect Azpilicueta to continue to compete in the Premier League considering the physical demands, and a move to a less intense league could be perfect.

Lewis Hall, Left back, England (Loan)

Many will disagree with this, but the reality is that while he is still only 18, he only played nine games for the Blues last season. He played very well, but he needs to play many more games in a season to build rhythm and get some performances in his portfolio. Fans are mistaken in thinking that loans suggest the club thinks the player is not good enough, but loans are not an indication of who is rated, but an important step in development.

Almost every player at the club at the moment has gone on a loan or two. There are also fans who think Hall is a central midfielder and shouldn’t be treated like a defender, however, having played both positions at the top level, it’s clear he’s in a better position to impact a top tier side from left back, rather than central midfield.

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If these departures go through, that would leave Benoit Badiashile, Wesley Fofana, Trevoh Chalobah, and the returning Levi Colwill as the four centerback options for Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the 2023/24 season, which is perfect if the Argentine manager decides to play a two-centerback formation. Reece James and Malo Gusto would be right back options while Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella would be the options at left back.