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Potential starting XI for 2022/23

All in all, the 2021/22 season was a disappointing one for Chelsea with off-field turmoil being compounded by defeats in both domestic cup finals.

However, with new owner Todd Boehly now in place the Blues will be hoping for bigger and better things after this summer.

Right now though, their squad is in need of some major surgery. Fortunately there is plenty of time for work to be done.

Here’s how Thomas Tuchel’s could set out next season.

A few blunders aside, Edouard Mendy enjoyed another strong season and will start the 2022/23 campaign as the undisputed first choice at Stamford Bridge.

The most expensive goalkeeper of all time Kepa Arrizabalaga has admitted he wants to play more and has been linked with Lazio for a while now. Fellow touted suitors Newcastle have signed Nick Pope from Burnley.

Kepa’s replacement as second choice could be Chicago Fire and USMNT youngster Gabriel Slonina, with the west Londoners in pole position to land him, 90min understands.

If anyone cares, Marcus Bettinelli has one year left to run on his deal too.

Chelsea have sleep walked into a defensive crisis that is in urgent need of being addressed this summer.

Antonio Rudiger has joined Real Madrid on a free transfer and Andreas Christensen is widely expected to sign for Barcelona, and they could be joined by fellow Blaugrana targets Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso in La Liga next term.

Thankfully Thiago Silva will still be around, as will the ever-improving Trevoh Chalobah. Chelsea will still be strengthening at the back though, with Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt emerging as their main priority and Jules Kounde of Sevilla still on their radar – although Barça may have a say in that too.

Chelsea may well sign three new defenders and former Blue Nathan Ake is another possible arrival, with the versatile Man City man capable of playing at left-back too.

The Blues are also keeping tabs on RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, while Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has also been discussed.

Levi Colwill, who has impressed on loan at Huddersfield last season, should be aiming to break into the first team as well. Don’t forget about Ethan Ampadu too, who spent the campaign with Venezia.

The two full-back positions will be occupied by Reece James and Ben Chilwell but further depth could be required on both sides should Azpilicueta and Alonso leave the club. Lens’ France international wing-back Jonathan Clauss has been touted as an option.

At least Emerson should be welcomed back into the fold following a decent season with Lyon. Kenedy can also play as a left wing-back if required.

Both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are out of contract in summer 2023 and Chelsea seem to be content to let the latter go as opposed to renewing both of their deals. A return to Italy seems most likely.

Mateo Kovacic ended the season as the Blues’ best midfielder and will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

He and Kante could, and perhaps should, be joined in the middle by Crystal Palace player of the season Conor Gallagher. Another former Palace loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek threatened to earn a starting spot at times last term but he continues to be linked with a move away from west London.

Billy Gilmour will likely go out on loan again, while Saul Niguez has returned to Atletico Madrid following a largely unsuccessful loan. West Ham’s Declan Rice is an outside bet to come in, but he’ll cost them.

Although it has been suggested Chelsea are keeping tabs on Frenkie de Jong, he seems destined to join Man Utd.

Chelsea have several big decisions to make in the forward department. Romelu Lukaku has sensationally returned to Inter on a season-long loan following a mightily underwhelming comeback season at Stamford Bridge.

Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner are being linked with moves away too, but of course it won’t just be outgoings that Chelsea will be focussed on.

While Kai Havertz seems set to continue as the central striker, the Blues are looking to reinforce the wide areas in search of more goals and assists. Reliable goalscorer Raheem Sterling is edging closer to joining from Man City, while Ousmane Dembele remains a target despite uncertainty over whether he might remain at Barcelona.

As it stands, Barça appear to have the edge over the London club in the pursuit of Leeds winger Raphinha, who would prefer a move to Camp Nou.

Armando Broja is returning to Stamford Bridge following his loan spell at Southampton, but another temporary departure seems most feasible.


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