Ruben Loftus-Cheek was one of the breakthrough success stories of the Premier League last season. In an attempt to get more experience, the 22-year-old joined Palace on loan during the summer of 2017 from Chelsea. Not many would have anticipated the success that was to follow, but the youngster played a starring role in keeping the Eagles in the top flight and ended up also earning a place in the 23-man England squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
While it’s never productive to look back on what might have been, it’s worth noting that Chelsea could have had an even sharper attack this season – by adding Aleksandr Golovin and Gonzalo Higuain to their ranks.
Chelsea’s 100% start to the season juddered to a halt with a dull 0-0 draw away at West Ham on Sunday afternoon. The Blues enjoyed 72% of the possession and rained 17 shots down on their opponents’ goal, but they ultimately could not find the breakthrough.
In the pre-match conference before Chelsea’s match against Cardiff last Saturday, Maurizio Sarri has revealed he has made a decision on who will be the permanent captain of his squad. “I have my idea, I have decided, but before telling you my decision I would like to speak to the players and the club,” said the Italian.
The first international break of the season is in full flow and we take a look at how Chelsea’s representatives have got on after the first of two rounds of fixtures. A number of the players have been competing in the newly formed UEFA Nations League, which has been designed to bring a competitive edge to the otherwise boring friendly matches.
The Premier League kicked off last weekend and in one of the most convincing performances of the week, Chelsea beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium. They face Arsenal on Saturday, who were beaten 2-0 in Unai Emery’s first league game against Manchester City. Ahead of Saturday’s late kick-off, we look at the last three meetings between the sides.
Chelsea kicked off their new Premier League season with a 3-0 victory away at Huddersfield. N’Golo Kante opened up the scoring with a simple sidefoot 34 minutes into the match before new signing Jorginho struck from the penalty spot just before the break.
Thibaut Courtois certainly won’t have any friends left in West London on the back of his £35 million to Real Madrid on deadline day. Not only did the World Cup Golden Glove winner show a lack of respect towards the club but also the fans with some behaviour that doesn’t reciprocate the love he was shown during his time with the Blues.
His exquisite first touch permitted a strike on goal but as the Lyon keeper smothered it handily, N’Golo Kante’s sense of responsibility kicked in. Even before unleashing the thumbs up sign for the chance’s creator Jorginho, he was already jogging back, heads down, as if to mask a certain unease, perhaps even embarrassment, at being inside the Blues box.
The upcoming Premier League season is just around the corner for Chelsea. Under a new regime led by Italian schemer Maurizio Sarri, the Blues’ preparations are well underway. The club hierarchy is keen to support the new manager with a fresh batch of recruits, yet the arrivals have been relatively slow, with Chelsea missing out on a couple of transfer targets, especially ones viewed to provide competition in the striker role for Alvaro Morata and co.
When Chelsea won their most recent league title in the 2016-2017 season, David Luiz played a vital role in the Blues’ success. Then manager Antonio Conte positioned him in the middle of a back three where the 31-year-old not only excelled in defence but also in attack.
Chelsea confirmed on Thursday that ex-West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green has joined the side on a one-year deal. The former England international is expected to act as third-choice next season behind Thibaut Courtois and Willy Caballero.
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard is being strongly linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. Los Blancos recently parted ways with Cristiano Ronaldo and they view the Belgian as the ideal replacement.
Chelsea are regarded as one of the most successful clubs in the Premier League era. In spite of this, the Blues have also had their fair share of mistakes and flops, as is the case for nearly all teams, regardless of stature.
If rumours are to be believed, it appears there are a lot of clubs interested in signing the Brazilian winger Bernard, who is currently a free agent after leaving Shakhtar Donetsk following the expiration of his contract with the Ukrainian club.
With it now appearing likely that Thibaut Courtois will link up with Real Madrid this summer, Chelsea are eying up a sensational move for former Blues hero Petr Cech as his replacement.
There’s plenty of change taking place at Chelsea at the moment and there are many question marks hanging over the Bridge as a result. Spare a thought for Cesc Fabregas who, with the arrival of Jorginho, has seemingly seen himself fall further down the pecking order for the upcoming season.
With Chelsea finishing fifth in the Premier League table last season, it is a matter of concern and urgency to bring in some new signings and change the system under their newly appointed manager Maurizio Sarri. Here are some possible transfer targets for the Blues.
Antonio Conte has been sacked as manager of Chelsea after two full seasons in charge of the West London club. It is certainly not a surprise and was perhaps expected by most after the Blues finished in fifth position in the Premier League standings and outside of the Champions League qualification places last season.
With Maurizio Sarri set to take the managerial reins at Chelsea, the long-awaited departure of Antonio Conte has finally happened. The 48-year-old leaves in acrimonious circumstances, but how exactly will he be remembered at the club?
Despite stating that he wants to return to England with a ‘winning feeling‘ following an exceptional showing at the World Cup, there is still a possibility that Thibaut Courtois could leave Chelsea this summer.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is amongst the leading contenders to win the Golden Glove award at the World Cup 2018 – but can he beat out the likes of Jordan Pickford to the prestigious title?
Will we see Didier Drogba plying his trade in the EFL Championship next season? Or is it just banter?
There does not seem to be an ideal month this summer for clubs to make their changes and Chelsea appear to be a club that has a number of concerns during the off-season.
It is a season that Chelsea will want to forget in a hurry, as they saw their defence of the Premier League title fail to lift off from the beginning, whilst a number of problems continue to swirl around Stamford Bridge heading into next year’s campaign.