The Premier League is finally back on the 11th August and with that in mind, we’ve done a season preview of every club and their chances for the upcoming season. Here, we’ve taken a look at Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea.
Last season: 12th
Top Scorer: Kai Havertz (7)
Transfers In: Nicolas Jackson – Villarreal (£32m), Christopher Nkunku – RB Leipzig (£52m), Diego Moreira Benfica (free transfer), Angelo – Santos (£13m)
Transfers Out: Kalidou Koulibaly – Al Hilal (£17m), Mateo Kovacic – Manchester City (£25m), Edouard Mendy – Al-Ahly (£16m), Kai Havertz – Arsenal (£65m), Ruben Loftus-Cheek – AC Milan (£15m), N’Golo Kante – Al Ittihad (free transfer), Mason Mount – Manchester United (£55m), Cesar Azpilicueta – Atletico Madrid (free transfer), Baba Rahman – PAOK (free transfer), Christian Pulisic – AC Milan (£20m), Ethan Ampadu – Leeds United (£7m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Marseille (free transfer)
First game: Liverpool (H)
Last season couldn’t really have gone much worse for Chelsea.
New owner Todd Boehly arrived as the new owner, sacking Thomas Tuchel and replacing him with Graham Potter, who was gone by April and then brought back Frank Lampard to see out their worst season since the mid-1990s.
What to expect from Chelsea as they embark on a second year under the ownership of Boehly? Who knows. The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino looks to be a step in the right direction, as the Argentinian did an outstanding job at Tottenham and the Blues were right to appoint him. Pochettino is one of the best coaches in the world and will surely make them better if there is no interference from the powers above.
Having no European football to contend with this season should see Chelsea surge up the table, think akin to Arsenal last season. I’m not expecting a title charge from Poch’s men but I do believe they will be firmly within the top four battle alongside Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and the Gunners themselves.
My worry for Chelsea is the amount of international experience that has been sold from the squad. Kai Havertz and Mason Mount have been sold to top-four rivals, and the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta will be huge losses within the dressing room. In addition, the Blues are still lacking reliable goalscorers, as Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson remain unknown quantities in the Premier League at this moment.
Nkunku, in particular, arrives with big price tag from the Bundesliga with a reputation for scoring goals. Chelsea have heard that before, haven’t they? While it didn’t work out for Timo Werner or Kai Havertz, there is hope that Nkunku can deliver as part of an attack full of forward options.
Given Pochettino’s history with young players at Spurs, Chelsea fans can expect the Argentinian to shape his team around the likes of Reece James, Lewis Hall and Enzo Fernandez, while still showing faith in senior pros like Raheem Sterling and Thiago Silva.
I think a top six finish is the way to go for the Blues at 1/2, and while it may be a bit short price-wise, I can see them getting pipped to the top four spots by the likes of Liverpool or Man Utd.