Well… it’s quite clear we’ve had an underwhelming season, we sit in fifth with a Champions League chance thinner than a thread of hair. Tomorrow we make the trip up north for the final game of the season, against Newcastle but all the focus is on next season.
The FA Cup final will be Antonio Conte’s last at Chelsea, what a way to go out by getting one over Mourinho. However, who is the replacement going to be? Sarri is the closest at the moment and he’s set to tell the Napoli board that he wants to leave on Wednesday. But, things change quickly in football and Chelsea have held meetings with Jardim of AS Monaco who is also set to leave his club. Despite starting to make moves on two managers on the continent neither are Chelsea’s first choice, the clubs first choice is much closer to home, Mauricio Pochettino. The chances of luring him away from Tottenham is about as thin as our Champions League hopes, and the board know this so they’re actively working on other targets. If I had to put my money on one man replacing Antonio Conte it would be Maurizio Sarri.
Despite the names being thrown around neither are my preference, instead, I would rather see Diego ‘Cholo’ Simeone at the helm next season. Diego Simeone has averaged 2.07 points per game in his 374 game spell at Atletico Madrid so far. Alongside this he has led a vastly cheaper squad to the title overturning Barcelona and Real Madrid to win a league title. Something which Sarri failed to do at the final hurdle, Simeone is also in this years Europa League final after beating Arsenal, something that Chelsea failed to do in 5 attempts this season. Maybe Simeone’s loyalty to Atletico will be too much but without trying you can’t be certain.
It’s clear this season we have “suffered” from a lack of squad depth, as well as some of the squad being incompetent. The signings of Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley has baffled me this season. Firstly Danny Drinkwater was clearly not what we needed however, Ross Barkley has the potential should he get over his injury but should be loaned out next season, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have both proved they deserve to play for Chelsea more than Ross Barkley next season.
The starting eleven needs a lot of upgrades next season. If Thibaut Courtois leaves we will need to sign a replacement, Jan Oblak and Alisson are the two I’d go for, however, I can see the club rivalling Wolves for Stoke’s Jack Butland. One of the clearest upgrades we need is at right back, PSG’s Meunier would be top of my list but there is no clear target, if Sarri becomes our next manager Hysaj has a high chance of joining the club. Next up, centre-midfield we need someone to pair with the magnificent N’golo Kante and if Sarri comes that man will be Jorginho. Mount and Loftus-Cheek should return to give us the depth needed in central midfield. Next we need another winger if we can offload Pedro and/or Willian (which is unlikely), it’s clear that Martial should be top of the list but a deal could be easier said than done. Finally, Chelsea are open to negotiate over the transfer of Alvaro Morata and Juventus are the front-runners. Dortmund will also make a move for Michy Batshuayi this summer meaning Chelsea will need to replace either if moved on, top of my list will be Inter Milan’s Icardi.
The Stadium Move:
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Chelsea are cutting all the costs they can to save money for the new stadium of which the club believe they can finance on their own – which no other club has done to such extent. Personally, I believe we should at least delay the move as Stamford Bridge is a good enough ground in the current climate and it’s clear the team is “suffering” on the pitch.
Overall, for the club to move forward it is key we make key changes and these are the main ones I feel we should. A lot of tough decisions need to be made and if the club steps up or not could shape our future.