Chelsea’s giant squad
Thanks to their excellent youth set-up, Chelsea have for many years now had a reserve of quality at the club.
This becomes evident when you look at how many players the Blues have out on loan each season, or when looking back to their transfer ban, when Frank Lampard was able to easily bring in the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori to essentially act as new signings.
However, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and clubs as a result not having the cash available which they did two years ago, Chelsea have been left with a rather large surplus of players.
Thomas Tuchel confirmed earlier this month that there were ’42 players in the building’ at one point during pre-season:
“After the [pre-season] Arsenal game we wrote [all] the names down on the sheet because Sunday was the match against Arsenal and [on] Monday the group of players from England, Italy and Brazil came back.
“So we wrote the names down to acknowledge that we would have 42 players in the building and it’s simply not possible.”
Several players have since moved on, either on loan or on a permanent basis, including Tammy Abraham who has joined Jose Mourinho at Roma.
But the Blues still have countless players on their books who could be moved on this summer. With this in mind, 101 have picked out eight stars who could yet leave Chelsea before the window shuts.
One of the more obvious options who could bring in a decent amount of cash this summer is Kurt Zouma.
Under Thomas Tuchel, the Frenchman has not been used an awful lot, culminating in reports early in July suggesting that Zouma was expected to leave Chelsea this summer.
West Ham have since been heavily linked, with a report on Monday even suggesting that the two clubs have struck a verbal agreement for his transfer. However, personal terms are said to be a sticking point, with Zouma eyeing a significant salary increase.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had a difficult career which has been filled with injury issues.
And though the midfielder headed on loan to Fulham last season in an attempt to regain some form before pushing for a place in Chelsea’s starting eleven, the latter outcome now seems very unlikely.
Chelsea have so much attacking talent in their front-three, and it is hard to see RLC usurping any of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante or Jorginho to earn regular minutes in the club’s midfield-two.
It is also worth pointing out that Loftus-Cheek is yet to make a single appearance for the Blues this summer – having been left on the bench for the Super Cup, before being omitted versus both Crystal Palace and Arsenal in the Premier League.
Since his move from Everton to Chelsea in 2018, Ross Barkley has never really been able to earn regular football at the Bridge.
This would lead to Barkley being shipped out on loan to Aston Villa for the 2020/21 campaign.
The midfielder featured 27 times for the Villans, scoring four and assisting one along the way.
However, such production was seemingly not enough to win over Thomas Tuchel, who left Barkley out of Chelsea’s matchday squad on the opening weekend of the season, versus Crystal Palace.
In turn, with the 27-year-old having just under two years left to run on his contract, it would make sense for Chelsea to cash in on him now.
Like Barkley, Davide Zappacosta was never really able to earn a regular place in Chelsea’s starting eleven.
He was brought in towards the back end of Antonio Conte’s reign, which ended with the Blues finishing down in 5th.
And the right-back has since failed to do enough to impress any of the managers that have followed.
This has led to the Italian seemingly closing in on a move to Atalanta:
…and talks on between Zouma and West Ham, as reported yesterday. No bid from Tottenham.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 23, 2021
Ethan Ampadu has been on Chelsea’s books since 2017.
During that time, the now 20-year-old has made just 12 senior appearances for the Blues.
He was loaned out to Sheffield United last campaign to gain some much-needed first-team experience, and it would, on paper, make sense for a similar move to develop again this year.
Chelsea are already well-stocked at centre-back, and the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah has made it even more difficult for Ampadu to earn regular minutes.
So, in order to allow the Welshman to continue developing, another loan should be sorted before the window shuts.
The signing of Malang Sarr was something of a strange one.
Chelsea landed the 22-year-old on a free transfer in August of 2020, after his contract with OGC Nice expired.
Sarr was then immediately shipped off on loan to FC Porto. And since returning to Chelsea this summer, reports have spread that he could be on his way out on a permanent basis, just a year after signing, and having played zero minutes for the club.
Tiemoue Bakayoko was snapped up by Chelsea in 2017 after impressing as a part of that AS Monaco side which included the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Fabinho and Bernardo Silva.
It is fair to say, though, that Bakayoko has failed to live up to the hype since departing Monaco.
Instead, the Frenchman has made just 43 appearances for Chelsea, as well as being farmed out on some largely unsuccessful loans to the likes of former club Monaco and Napoli.
In turn, with the 27-year-old out of contract next summer, it seems obvious that Chelsea should be looking to move Bakayoko on this summer, to avoid losing him for free in a year’s time.
Danny Drinkwater has got to be one of the worst Chelsea signings in recent memory.
The midfielder joined from Leicester back in 2017, for a fee of upwards of £30m.
Drinkwater has since featured just 23 times for the Blues’ senior side, spending much of his time on Chelsea’s books out on loan.
But with the Englishman now 31 and in the final year of his contract, the Pensioners’ only hope of recouping even a portion of the fee which they paid for Drinkwater would come via a sale this summer.
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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