Chelsea are in the market for a new goalkeeper, midfielder and striker this summer as Mauricio Pochettino hopes to further bolster his squad
Chelsea just need to sign three more players in addition to Christopher Nkunku to build the perfect starting lineup for next season. The 25-year-old forward had been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for some time, but the Blues have finally announced his arrival from RB Leipzig.
Nkunku, who penned a six-year deal in west London, told the official Chelsea website: “I am incredibly happy to be joining Chelsea. A big effort was made to bring me to the club and I am looking forward to meeting my new coach and teammates and showing the Chelsea supporters what I can do on the pitch.
“Having played in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, I now want to play in the Premier League, one of the strongest leagues in the world. I am very excited for this challenge and will be proud to wear the Chelsea shirt.”
Despite having missed two months of the season, the France international managed to get his hands on the Bundesliga golden boot along with Niclas Fullkrug, scoring 16 goals. Unlike Fullkrug, who is an orthodox talisman, Nkunku enjoyed great success in numerous positions across the frontline which offers the Blues plenty of exciting options.
So, with that being said, football.london have taken a look at how Chelsea could lineup next season if Moises Caicedo, Lautaro Martinez and Diogo Costa follow the Frenchman to Cobham…
Following tenures at Espanyol, Southampton, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain, Pochettino is well known for his attack-minded approach. Over the years, he’s usually preferred a 4-2-3-1 – which looks like a 4-3-3 while attacking and a 4-4-2 when defending.
Neither Kepa Arrizbalaga nor Edouard Mendy have impressed lately, so a new face between the sticks is certainly needed. After missing out on Andre Onana and Mike Maignan unlikely to leave AC Milan, Diogo Costa has recently emerged as an option – though he could cost as much as £64million!
Ordinarily, Reece James would be joined by Ben Chilwell as his full-back partner. But, if Mykhailo Mudryk is given the freedom of the left hand side, Levi Colwill would provide great balance behind him left-back.
At Arsenal, Ben White provides great cover for Bukayo Saka, who is freed from the shackles of as much defensive responsibility. Colwill could play a similar role, but on the left while James plays the ‘Zinchenko role’ on the right.
It’s difficult to overlook Ben Chilwell, and even Lewis Hall or Ian Maatsen, but the England international isn’t as effective as a full-back as he is a wing-back. Despite this, he’ll likely be one of the first names on the team sheet next season.
If Chelsea can get their hands on Caicedo then Enzo Fernandez will finally be able to step up into the deep-lying eight role. The south American duo can play a double pivot and sit behind Nkunku, who will likely be given the freedom to roam the final third and support the lone striker.
As for the wingers, Mudryk is expected to be unleashed as an outlet on the left like Son Heung-min once was under Pochettino, while Noni Madueke operates on the right-wing. Raheem Sterling has the capability to cement a place in the starting lineup for years to come if he can recapture the form he enjoyed at Manchester City, but Madueke certainly ended the season well.
In an ideal world, Pochettino manages to lure Martinez from Inter Milan. Nicolas Jackson, who is expected to join the west Londoners, ended the season with Villarreal in superb fashion, netting ten in his final 12 La Liga games of the season.
While he’s been pretty hot in front of goal, it remains to be seen whether he can keep that up in the Premier League. Though the same can be said about Martinez, though he has far more European pedigree to his name.
Diogo Costa; Levi Colwill, Benoit Badiashile, Wesley Fofana, Reece James (C); Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo; Mykhailo Mudryk, Christopher Nkunku, Noni Madueke; Lautaro Martinez.