How Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall would enhance Chelsea's starting lineup

Chelsea FC v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final
Chelsea FC v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Chelsea FC have made a significant addition to their squad with the £30 million signing of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall from Leicester City. This marks Chelsea's fifth signing of the transfer window, following the arrivals of Omari Kellyman, Marc Guiu, Tosin Adarabioyo, and Estêvão Willian. Dewsbury-Hall, however, stands out as perhaps the most impactful signing, instantly enhancing the team's midfield capabilities.

Dewsbury-Hall's versatility is one of his key attributes. The former Leicester City midfielder is adept at both attacking and defending, making him a perfect fit for manager Enzo Maresca's preferred 4-3-3 formation. Maresca, who worked with him last season at Leicester, leading them to the Championship title, is likely to slot him into the midfield seamlessly, enhancing the performance of those around him.

In the 2022-2023 season, Dewsbury-Hall played 44 games, scoring 12 goals and providing 14 assists. His impressive performances earned him Leicester's Player of the Season award. As a box-to-box midfielder, the Englishman possesses explosive speed, excellent ball control, strong passing ability, and an incredible work rate. These qualities make him an invaluable addition to CFC's midfield.

Chelsea's ideal lineup with the new signing could look like this:

  • GK: Djordje Petrovic
  • LB: Marc Cucurella
  • CB: Levi Colwill
  • CB: Axel Disasi
  • RB: Reece James
  • CM: Moises Caicedo
  • CM: Enzo Fernandez
  • CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
  • LW: Christopher Nkunku
  • ST: Nicolas Jackson
  • RW: Cole Palmer

Enhancing team dynamics

Dewsbury-Hall's ability to pick up the ball from deep and drive forward is something the Blues have been lacking since the departure of Mateo Kovacic. His dribbling skills, honed at Leicester, will prevent forwards like Nicolas Jackson and Cole Palmer from having to drop deep, allowing them to stay higher up the pitch and in their favored positions.

The combination of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in a double pivot has proven effective, and Dewsbury-Hall's presence will only enhance this dynamic. If rotation or injury necessitates a change, the Englishman's versatility means he can step into the pivot role seamlessly, having performed well in a similar position alongside Harry Winks at Leicester.

With KDH taking on ball-carrying duties, forwards like Jackson and Palmer can focus on their attacking roles. Palmer, in particular, thrives on the right wing, where he is lethal when cutting inside. Dewsbury-Hall's presence will allow him to spend more time in this optimal position.

The arrival of Dewsbury-Hall will likely see Conor Gallagher drop out of the starting lineup. While Gallagher is known for his pressing ability, Dewsbury-Hall brings a more technically proficient game, coupled with undeniable work ethic. Overall, Chelsea gain a versatile midfielder capable of contributing to both attack and defense with great energy.

Maresca's familiarity with Dewsbury-Hall's strengths and weaknesses ensures that the midfielder will be integrated into the team in a way that maximizes his impact. This signing not only strengthens Chelsea's midfield but also provides tactical flexibility and depth, positioning the Blues for a promising season ahead.