Date:16th July 2022 at 11:33am
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After weeks of frustration for Chelsea fans, the Blues have finally become active in the transfer window, with Raheem Sterling having been officially announced as their first signing of the summer.

The Englishman joined from Manchester City for around £50 million, and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is expected to follow the forward through the doors at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues won’t stop there though, as they are also working on deals for defenders Presnel Kimpembe and Jules Kounde, before looking at other attacking targets.

With plenty of incomings and outgoings at Stamford Bridge this summer, Tuchel could boast an enviable amount of squad depth next term.

Here, we take a look at the options that the German could have available to him.

Goalkeeper

Chelsea look likely to continue with the same selection of ‘keepers as last term, with Kepa Arrizabalaga acting as understudy to Edouard Mendy. Chelsea are close to adding 18-year-old Gabriel Slonina to their ranks, and Marcus Bettinelli remains a Blues player.

There has been no talk of Mendy being replaced as Chelsea’s number one

Defence

The Blues appear to be prioritising their backline after losing both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, but they do still have Thiago Silva. The veteran centre-back was primarily used in the centre of a back three last season, but could see his playing time reduce, with Koulibaly likely to become first choice. Either side of him, Jules Kounde and Presnel Kimpembe are still expected to join the club and would likely replace Christensen and Rudiger. Tuchel also has young defenders Trevoh Chalobah and Levi Colwill at his disposal, as well as Malang Sarr.

Midfield

First choice wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James both missed large parts of last season through injury, but will return to play a crucial role for Tuchel this term. There could be a huge change in personnel behind them though, with Marcos Alonso, Kenedy, Emerson Palmieri and all likely to depart the club. Lens’ Jonathan Clauss is being monitored by the Blues to provide Chilwell with cover at left wing-back, while Dujon Sterling could be involved with the first team to provide cover on the other flank. Cesar Azpilicueta will expect to provide cover at both right wing-back and centre-back.

Chelsea were without Chilwell for much of last season

In the middle of the park, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic will most likely be Tuchel’s first choice pairing of number eights. Jorginho is another option available to the German, who will likely rotate often as five substitutes will be allowed in the Premier League. Academy graduates Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher will also be pushing for first team action, as will Ethan Ampadu and Billy Gilmour if they are not sold or loaned out. Ross Barkley will likely have to settle for a bit-part role if he doesn’t depart Stamford Bridge.

Forwards

Marquee signing Raheem Sterling will be first choice on the left of Chelsea’s front three, although the Englishman is just as comfortable playing on the opposite wing. Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi will provide competition for him, as well as Mason Mount who will most likely operate on the other side, depending on the formation that Tuchel opts for. Hakim Ziyech is expected to leave this summer, but if not will be another name pushing for regular football.

Chelsea fans will be hoping for an impressive season from Mason Mount

Through the middle, Kai Havertz will lead the line for the majority of the season, with Timo Werner and Armando Broja his most likely understudies. Michy Batshuayi will likely be sent out on loan once again.

With other signings quite possibly arriving between now and the start of the upcoming season, it is almost impossible to predict which 11 players will line up for the Blues’ season curtain-raiser against Everton in August. At present, though, Tuchel has a healthy amount of talent and enviable depth available to him.

 
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