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Monday, June 24, 2024

Chelsea: Squad audit – Keep, loan, or sell

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Chelsea will demand improvement in 2024-25 after missing out on Champions League qualification for the second straight season.

Despite record-breaking investment in recent transfer windows, the Blues remain a distance behind the Premier League’s top teams with an inexperienced and bloated squad. Ahead of the transfer window, we’ve conducted our audit on the Chelsea squad, deciding which players should be kept, loaned or sold this summer.

Goalkeepers:

Robert Sanchez

Started last season as the first choice, but ended the campaign on the bench after some unconvincing performances. The Spaniard was a strange signing, arriving for £25m despite being Brighton’s third-choice goalkeeper at the time.

Homegrown status is perhaps all that could keep Sanchez at Stamford Bridge, that and the unlikelihood of Chelsea recouping anything close to their initial investment. Sell.

Marcus Bettinelli

The 32-year-old has been at Chelsea for three years and has made one appearance. Content with being a homegrown backup, he could be useful to keep around for quota purposes. Keep.

Djordje Petrovic

Came into the side last season and showed promise, however, an upgrade is required if Chelsea are to compete at the highest level. If the Serb is willing to compete for his place, he should remain in West London. Keep.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

A disastrous signing, who has never looked close to justifying his world-record £72m price tag. Chelsea would do well to get a quarter of that fee this summer. Sell.

Defenders:

Axel Disasi

Signed for £38m last summer, Disasi is one of several underwhelming centre-back options at Chelsea. He has had his moments, notably an outstanding performance in the draw at Manchester City, but has not convinced. If a decent offer arrives, he could leave. Sell.

Marc Cucurella

Cucurella began to turn from flop to fan favourite during the run-in, inverting into midfield with success. His performances earned him a place in the Spain squad for Euro 2024, one of just three Premier League players to be included, and might just have extended his Chelsea career. Keep.

Marc Cucurella has been included in Spain’s provisional squad for #EURO2024! 👏 pic.twitter.com/7Q5YnuEMy5

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 27, 2024

Benoit Badiashile

Similarly to Disasi, the ex-Monaco defender has struggled to convince. At 23, however, time is on his side but he will need to show marked improvement next season, after an injury-hit campaign. Keep.

Trevoh Chalobah

Chelsea are reportedly open to selling Chalobah this summer, despite a strong run of performances during the run-in. A better performer than Disasi and Badiashile this season, his potential exit can be attributed to a need to balance the books as much as squad status. Keep.

Ben Chilwell

Injuries have continued to hold Chilwell back, who has started just 30 games across the last three Premier League campaigns. Next season might be his last chance to regain his place as a key figure. Keep.

Reece James

One of the best right-backs in world football when fit but, like Chilwell, is not fit often enough. Fingers crossed he can overcome his issues, James could be like a new signing next season. Keep.

Levi Colwill

Colwill’s return to Chelsea did not entirely go to plan, with much of the season spent out of position at left-back. However, the 21-year-old is a player of huge potential. Keep.

Malo Gusto

Deputised brilliantly for Reece James in his debut season. Were it not for Cole Palmer, he’d probably have earned himself more headlines in West London. Keep.

That’s the standard. Love it, @Gusto_Malo! ⛔️👊#CFC | #EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/jIc28WgRAU

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 19, 2024

Wesley Fofana

A broken leg in his final season at Leicester and two serious knee injuries in two campaigns at Chelsea. The Blues will hope Fofana’s cruel luck can come to an end in 2024-25. Keep.

Alfie Gilchrist

An impressive breakthrough this season for the academy graduate, whose immediate future will hinge on Chelsea’s summer business. He needs minutes. Loan.

Malang Sarr

Yes, he’s still a Chelsea player. Even Mauricio Pochettino forgot that. Sell.

Ian Maatsen

Ian Maatsen departed Chelsea on loan in January and this weekend will compete in the Champions League final for Borussia Dortmund. He has the potential to be a first-team option for Chelsea but should be sold if he’s not a prominent part of their plans. The 22-year-old is too good to spend another season at Chelsea on the fringes. Sell.

Midfield:

Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea broke the British transfer record to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January 2023. While the midfielder has failed to justify an extraordinary price tag, he’s shown enough to demonstrate he can be a big part of the long-term future. Keep.

Lesley Ugochukwu

Just three starts last season, Ugochukwu needs game time if his development is to not stall in West London. Loan.

Carney Chukwuemeka

Like Ugochukwu, Chukwuemeka’s sporadic involvement last season makes a loan move sensible in 2024-25. Loan.

Conor Gallagher

Gallagher’s contract situation – and Chelsea’s need to balance the books – might dictate otherwise, but the midfielder can play a part in the rebuild. Keep.

Moises Caicedo

After a tough start to his time at Chelsea, Caicedo began to show during the run-in signs of the player that the West Londoners were prepared to break the bank for. He should get better and better in a blue shirt. Keep.

Current status: watching this on repeat. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/qbcrC0rIet

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 19, 2024

Cesare Casadei

Bizarrely recalled from a loan at Leicester last season and then not used. Winner of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot in 2023, he’s ready for a chance at the top level. Loan.

Romeo Lavia

A nightmare debut season saw Lavia feature for just 32 minutes due to injury problems. A hugely promising talent, he will hope to bounce back after a false start with the Blues. Keep.

Raheem Sterling

Are Sterling’s best days behind him? There were flashes of the player of old last season, but not enough to convince Chelsea should discourage potential offers this summer. Out of the team during the run-in, for the right price, he could go. Sell.

Mykhailo Mudryk

Mudryk has had no shortage of critics and his price tag has certainly weighed heavy. However, there is a player in there. Next season looks like a now-or-never campaign for him. Keep.

Mudryk on the break. ⚡️#CFC | #CheBur pic.twitter.com/qDnjhgTUPf

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 2, 2024

Noni Madueke

An encouraging end to the season might just have earned Madueke another chance at Chelsea next season. Still just 22, the new head coach will aim to coax more from him. Keep.

Hakim Ziyech

After spending last season on loan at Galatasaray, Ziyech looks set to stay in Istanbul permanently. Sell.

Diego Moreira

Unlikely to earn minutes at Chelsea, a loan move is the best solution to aid his development into a potential first-team option. Loan.

Deivid Washington

See above. Loan.

Cole Palmer

Where would Chelsea have been without him last season? Build the team around him. Keep.

Cole Palmer’s four goals against Everton 😮‍💨 pic.twitter.com/oM5fc7hSxa

— Premier League (@premierleague) April 18, 2024

Forwards:

Christopher Nkunku

The most eagerly anticipated of Chelsea’s signings last summer endured an injury-ravaged campaign. One of several stars who could be ‘like a new signing’ for the Blues in 2024-25. He has the potential to be a shining light in this team. Keep.

Nicolas Jackson

A better debut season than some would have you believe. Sure, there were some glaring misses, but there were plenty of positives too. He’s raw, no doubt, but Jackson ended last season with more league goals than Julian Alvarez, Richarlison and Darwin Nunez among others. Let’s judge Jackson after season two in English football. Keep.

Touch and finish. 😎#CFC | #CheEve pic.twitter.com/5Ymdm5XmOb

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 16, 2024

Romelu Lukaku

A monumental mistake. £97.5m spent for one underwhelming campaign that delivered eight league goals. He’ll be off, with Italy, Saudi Arabia or Turkey the likely destinations. If Chelsea get a third of their initial investment, they’ll have done well. Sell.

Armando Broja

Fitness issues and a lack of minutes have seen Broja’s career stall. A loan move to Fulham failed to work out and he needs a new environment this summer. A raw diamond, he won’t be short of offers. Sell.

Armando Broja expected to leave Chelsea this summer, but he won’t return to Fulham.

Understand Wolves, Crystal Palace and Everton are three Premier League clubs interested.

Monaco and Milan both tracking Broja as well.

Broja also open to a Saudi move. Al-Shabab have looked at… pic.twitter.com/v22qwwCMny

— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) May 30, 2024

Read – Noughties Nines: Mr. Thunderbastard, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

See more – Iconic Duos: Lampard and Drogba -Chelsea’s relentless history makers

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