The departure of Antonio Conte, despite his success at Chelsea, has brought relief to many of their fans hoping for a fresh wave of success to come back to Stamford Bridge. Many of their star players including N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard enjoyed successful World Cup campaigns with the former winning the whole thing. Now, with the arrival of Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea will be hoping to hold on to their star man, Hazard, and push towards a sixth Premier League title.
All the talk at Chelsea was focused around Eden Hazard during the summer with the Belgian international reportedly keen on a move away from Stamford Bridge but the arrival of Sarri appears to have changed his mind. Sarri is a manager that has never won a major honour but he maintains the ability to attract top talent to his clubs and the signing of Jorginho proves that. The ex-Napoli midfielder will partner up with N’Golo Kante and potentially allow Hazard to have the freedom that he didn’t have last season when he was deployed as a second striker. The departure of Thibaut Courtois is a frustrating one for Chelsea but the world-record arrival of Kepa Arrizabalaga will excite the fans as will the season-long loan of Mateo Kovacic.
Sarri does still have problems up front with Morata having a poor debut season in the Premier League and giving himself a very negative profile but he might get a second chance this season. Chelsea also have fantastic squad depth with brilliant defensive options of Alonso, Emerson, Cahill, Rudiger, Christensen, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Moses, Zappacosta. Sufficient options in midfield with Fabregas, Kovacic and Barkley battling to link up with Kante and Jorginho but Loftus-Cheek, Drinkwater and Bakayoko are also in the mix. Up front, they’re slightly weaker but Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi, Morata and Giroud will all fight to get a place alongside Eden Hazard as will youngster, Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea has a squad full of quality and perhaps the best squad in the league, however, in recent seasons they’ve failed to find the manager to get the best out of their talented squad and push for success in Europe. Their defence consisting of Azpilicueta, Alonso, Cahill, Rudiger and Christensen boasts a high level of quality and David Luiz might enjoy a fresh start under his new Italian coach. In midfield, they’re one of the strongest in the world and now with Jorginho partnering Kante and possibly Fabregas or Kovacic too, they will have a sublime mixture of creativity, organisation and energy.
Overall, I would’ve expected Chelsea to make a defensive signing and one offensive signing but even without those, they have the depth within their squad to really change for the title this season. They also have some great youth players who might finally get their chance. Players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi will be desperate to finally break into the first team. Mateo Kovacic will be keen to impress and might see Chelsea as a future option in his career if he doesn’t get the chance at Madrid.
- 2018/19 Predicted Finish: 3rd (+2)
- Premier League Title Chance: 7/10
- Other Silverware Chance: 7/10
- Predicted Top Scorer: Eden Hazard
- Predicted Player of the Season: Cesar Azpilicueta
- Major Strength: Squad Depth
- Major Weakness: No Proven Goal Scorer
I think Chelsea are a brilliant side and while they struggled last season, they still won the FA Cup and will be favourites for similar success this season. A trophy or two in your first season at a club would be fantastic for the new manager and with the financial backing of Abramovich, Chelsea could be in the race with the Manchester clubs and Liverpool for the title. What are you expecting from Sarri in his debut season? Let us know by tweeting @AllOutFootball_ using #AOF.