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2022 World Cup | Five players Chelsea should monitor this winter in Qatar

Who the Blues should keep an eye on at the World Cup ahead of potential winter moves

Chelsea are in a mess. Under new ownership, with a new manager and currently in eighth, sixteen points behind League leaders Arsenal, they will need to reinforce their squad in January to stand any chance of playing Champions League football next season.

With that in mind, we take a look at five players Graham Potter and co. should be keeping an eye on this winter in Qatar.

1. Denzel Dumfries

One of Chelsea’s biggest issues is what happens when Reece James gets injured, as he has across the last two seasons.

Though no one can replace the man who is effectively the side’s creative hub, they need a better option than Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the ageing Cesar Azpilicueta.

One option could be Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries. The right wing-back shot to prominence at EURO2020, earning himself a move to Italy in the process, and another strong tournament could see him make another move in the winter window, with a price tag of around 40m euros on his head last summer amid interest both from Manchester United and Chelsea.

He would provide some much-needed backup to James, though he wouldn’t come cheap.

2. Jonathan David

Still just 22-years-old, the AS Monaco forward continues to impress at club level, with 9 goals and 3 assists to his name in1 5 Ligue 1 outings so far this season. It follows a strong 2021-22 campaign, where he netted 15 times.

Chelsea have an ageing Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang and a misfiring Kai Havertz to call upon at present, while Armando Broja has done little in limited minutes to stake a claim to be the solution.

With David a good presser capable of finding the back of the net, he could be just what Potter needs.

3. Jude Bellingham

Not the most surprising option, but Chelsea are set to be in the race for Bellingham’s signature when he becomes available this summer, and Blues fans will get a chance to see him operate with fellow transfer target Declan Rice in Gareth Southgate’s midfield this winter.

He will be going nowhere in January, but it is likely the team that do the most groundwork in the coming months land the teenager, and the tournament in Qatar could serve as a good starting point should he impress.

4. Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)

Another player that Chelsea have been strongly linked with, the RB Leipzig man takes centre-stage with Croatia as they look to replicate their run to the final from 2018. The centre-back has impressed in the Bundesliga, and was the subject of a £90m move by the Blues towards the end of the summer transfer window, with January in mind.

While there are plenty more holes in the Chelsea team, and they have signed three defenders over the summer, a player of Gvardiol’s quality doesn’t become available every summer, so he could be worth the hefty fee.

5. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)

Chelsea are in desperate need of a midfielder, with both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante out of contract in the summer and Mateo Kovacic’s injury record a concern. However, they will not want to stall the process of both Cesare Casadai and Carney Chukwuemeka, both of whom are believed to have a big future.

Step forward, Milinkovic-Savic. The Serbian midfielder has enjoyed a strong start to the season with Lazio, with three goals and seven assists to his name,

Valued at well over £70m, he would be an expensive acquisition, but the 27-year-old could be just the experienced talent that the Blues need to recover from a poor start to the season.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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