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Chelsea Could Be Forced Into Shock Reece James Sale This Summer

Chelsea’s failure to secure European football for a second consecutive season could force them to sell big names this summer, including captain Reece James.

Disappointing is the most diplomatic way to describe Chelsea’s season. The Blues were among the bookmaker’s favourites to finish in the top 4 of the Premier League at the start of the season, but there’s no chance of that happening now. Fans were optimistic that Mauricio Pochettino could get the best out of a newly assembled, talent-filled squad, but the results have been poor.

This season’s underachievement could have an impact well into the future, as Chelsea may need to sell big-name players to alleviate pressure on the club’s financial situation. Fans will be shocked to learn the latest name linked with a move away is club captain and fan favourite, Reece James.

Much like the club as a whole, James’ season has been a letdown. He was appointed captain by Pochettino in the summer and looked set to step up and fill the leadership role created by the departure of many established players. However, injury issues have continued to plague the England right-back.

James has missed large parts of Chelsea’s campaign and is unlikely to feature again before the end of the season break. Reports of a sale will be dismissed by many, given how talented James is. The 24-year-old has long been touted as a potential world-class player and has a skill set to rival most players at his position.

However, his homegrown status means a sale would represent pure profit on Chelsea’s financial statements. Media reports suggest this could push the Chelsea hierarchy to consider offers for him. Chelsea officials are reportedly concerned about the club’s ability to meet financial regulations established by the Premier League and UEFA, and a James sale could manage the issue.

Another homegrown player consistently linked with a move away is Conor Gallagher. The midfielder divides fan opinion but has undoubtedly been a big part of Pochettino’s plans this season. Continued departure rumours of a player so central to the manager’s thinking show how serious Chelsea’s financial concerns are.

Given how fan sentiment is leaning against the current ownership, selling a fan favourite like James would be a bold move. While a sale of Gallagher would be easier to defend, letting James leave West London could cause significant unrest in the fanbase.

Lots Of Positives to Take from November for the Blues

When Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino reflects on his side’s campaign at the end of the season, he may look back at November as the month their fortunes started to turn. There have been lots of positives to take out of November so far, with the highlights being their 4-1 victory over Tottenham in North London.

Here is a look at how this November is a month that should give Pochettino and Chelsea fans a lot to be excited about for the rest of the season.

Derby Success At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

After losing 2-0 at home to Brentford, Chelsea’s trip to Tottenham was an important moment in the Premier League. The Blues were able to run away as 4-1 winners, putting some distance between themselves and the bottom three, meaning they are out 66-1 in the relegation betting, and much closer to the top end of the table now.

Chelsea scored four goals in the game but the scoreline could have been far wider in favour of the Blues, as VAR ruled out two goals. What was most pleasing in this game was that Pochettino’s summer signings all looked settled and made an impact.

The Blues inflicted Spurs’ first league defeat of the season, and it ended up being a happy evening for Pochettino on his return to his former club.

Going Toe-To-Toe with Defending Champions

In what was one of the most entertaining Premier League matches this season, Chelsea drew 4-4 with defending champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. That was a huge result, as Chelsea matched the league leaders in every area of the pitch.

The Blues trailed three times in that match, but they showed great resolve to keep fighting to get on level terms. A 95th minute penalty for the hosts ensured they picked up a valuable point against Pep Guardiola’s side.

If Chelsea can keep up the same intensity as they did against Manchester City, they should continue picking up positive results and start moving up the table to towards the top-four. It also showed how dangerous the Blues can be in front of goal as it was the second consecutive game that they had scored four goals.

EFL Cup Victory Over Blackburn

Although the Premier League is the priority this season, Chelsea fans would love to be celebrating some silverware at the end of the campaign. The Blues took a step towards the next round of the EFL Cup thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Championships side Blackburn Rovers.

Pochettino made changes to his starting XI for this game. It was a great chance for some of the fringe players in his squad to get some minutes and impress their manager, and they did that around some of the senior members of the squad.

Chelsea will now face Newcastle in the quarter-final of the competition. They last lifted this trophy in 2015 and Pochettino will be hoping he can get his hands on it following the final in February. The challenge for Chelsea going forward is to carry their momentum into December and for the rest of the season.

Chelsea’s Premier League Predictions: Anticipating Matches Against Newcastle United and Brighton

Chelsea appear to have finally clicked under Mauricio Pochettino. The Blues are able to find the back of the net with regularity, and the frequent losses that were being experienced appear to have stopped.

The last two matches have been some of the most entertaining in Premier League history, with their 4-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur and 4-4 draw against Manchester City results that the most ardent of Chelsea fans would have found difficult to predict.

However, the Blues’ momentum may have been stopped as the latest international break (and the final one for 2023) has arrived, thus halting the progress that is being experienced temporarily. But, with challenging matches against Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion on the horizon immediately after, has it come at a good time?

Predicting what might happen against Newcastle United & Brighton

In the last two years or so, it would be fair to say that Eddie Howe’s Newcastle have swapped places with Chelsea. The Magpies have turned into one of the Premier League’s top clubs, having been rewarded with a UEFA Champions League place after their top-four finish last season.

They have been a little off-the-boil in this campaign, but like Chelsea, they have had their issues. They have had a list of unavailable players as long as their arm, with many key individuals featuring on it for one reason or another. They will still have that lengthy list when they return to domestic action after the international break, too, thus making it a potentially ideal time for the Blues to play them.

Those who watch the match through a Football Live Streaming platform might not be able to expect a humdinger of a game like the previous two for Chelsea, but they could potentially witness a good outcome. Newcastle will see Bruno Guimarães return after he served his suspension, but the Magpies are likely to be without many of their other stars. They will also be returning following a defeat to Bournemouth, where they were second-best throughout the contest.

The game against Brighton might also come at a good time for the Blues. Robert De Zerbi’s side are not in the best of form at the moment in the Premier League. They may be unbeaten in their last three, but all three have been draws. Their last win in the league was back on September 24 (seven games ago). With a trip to Nottingham Forest and Athens (UEFA Europa League) before visiting London, Chelsea might find that they have a good opportunity to close the gap – if not overtake – between the two sides in the league table.

Chelsea is starting to hit good form

As mentioned, Pochettino’s side are starting to find their form and are looking like a team that is capable of getting the wins that why should be obtaining. They have had their issues, but they are beginning to look like a thing of the past.

The Blues are by no means a finished article, as they still have a lot of work to do to get back to where they rightly belong, but there is evident progress and positive things to come, including the return of players yet to even play for the club.

Chelsea may have some of their own players back available following a lengthy absence, with rumours suggesting that Romeo Lavia and Christoper Nkunku are edging closer to making their debuts. After lengthy spells out and the rest of the team playing well, they may use the games against Newcastle and Brighton to try and make an impact that forces Pochettino to consider them as starters.

Will these next two games define Chelsea’s season?

While Chelsea will go into every single game as a must-win, it is possible to argue that the fixtures against Newcastle and Brighton are among two of the most important to be played.

The clubs are teams they will compete with come the end of the season if they want to obtain European qualification. With both suffering in their own way, there is the opportunity for the Londoners to try and capitalize. Suppose they are able to get a positive result. In that case, Chelsea may feel they can boost their chances, especially as they start to head into a hectic festive period that really will truly define their 2023/24 Premier League season.

Key Players to Watch in the Manchester City vs. Chelsea Clash on February 17

The Premier League often sets the stage for football’s most thrilling encounters, and the upcoming match between Manchester City and Chelsea promises to be a spectacular showcase of talent, strategy, and athleticism. This article zooms in on the key players who are set to leave a mark on this highly anticipated game.

With unique backgrounds and impressive skills, these athletes bring depth and excitement to the pitch. From Erling Haaland’s astounding scoring rate to Zack Steffen’s Pennsylvania roots, this clash is more than just a game; it’s a narrative of passion and prowess unfolding in real-time.

Erling Haaland: The Complete Centre-Forward

Erling Haaland embodies the archetype of a modern striker. His robust physique is not just for show; it’s a fundamental aspect of his playstyle, enabling him to involve teammates in the buildup. His pace isn’t just for sprints; it’s a calculated tool for intelligent positioning, allowing him to exploit defensive gaps.

When he’s not orchestrating play from deeper positions, he’s using his ambidextrous finishing skills to punctuate Manchester City’s attacks with goals. His statistics are not just numbers; they are testament to a forward who has redefined what it means to lead the line.

Julian Álvarez: Versatility Embodied

Julian Álvarez’s adaptability on the field makes him a tactical asset for Manchester City. Whether he’s leading the charge as a centre-forward or weaving plays as a right-winger, Álvarez knows how to complement his teammates’ strengths. His keen sense of space and timing allows him to carve out opportunities for others, seamlessly transitioning between a scorer and a creator. His intelligent movements and efficient passing don’t just contribute to the flow of the game; they often dictate it.

Zack Steffen: Pennsylvania’s Pride in Goal

In the upcoming Chelsea vs. Manchester City clash on Feb 17, 2024, one player to keep an eye on is Zack Steffen. Hailing from PA, his background adds a fascinating layer to the British game. Local PA residents can rely on ESPN Bet to watch the game and get into the action.

Steffen registered nine clean sheets in 42 English Football League appearances for Middlesbrough last season. He has earned 29 caps for the USMNT to date, though he hasn’t featured since March 2022. The Pennsylvania native recently missed CONCACAF Nations League duty following a knee procedure at the conclusion of his club campaign.

Nicolas Jackson: A New Breed of Number 9

Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson challenges the conventional striker’s mold with his blend of height and agility. His capability to dribble past defenders is complemented by his aerial prowess, making him a dual-threat in the opposition’s box. Jackson’s role extends beyond scoring; his ability to shield the ball and create plays for teammates underscores his importance in Chelsea’s attacking arsenal.

Raheem Sterling: The Evolution of a Winger

Raheem Sterling’s transformation over the years has been remarkable. Once known for his speed and agility at Liverpool, he honed his skills to become a multifaceted winger at Manchester City and later at Chelsea.

His proficiency in both pressing and attacking maneuvers makes him a formidable opponent on the pitch. Sterling’s tactical development is not merely about personal growth; it’s about adapting and excelling in the ever-evolving landscape of modern football.

How Chelsea Can Beat Manchester City

To secure a victory against Manchester City, Chelsea would need to focus on several tactical and strategic keys.

Exploit Defensive Gaps

Given Erling Haaland’s tendency to drop deep, Chelsea’s defense could exploit the temporary gaps he leaves in Manchester City’s forward line. Quick transitions and sharp counterattacks could catch City off guard during these moments.

Neutralize Álvarez’s Versatility

Julian Álvarez thrives on intelligent movement and creating space. Chelsea must ensure they track his off-the-ball runs and deny him the opportunity to link up play or find pockets of space to receive the ball.

Leverage Nicolas Jackson’s Attributes

Utilizing Nicolas Jackson’s pace and dribbling could be key in stretching Manchester City’s defense. Encouraging him to engage in one-on-one situations might create scoring opportunities or draw fouls in dangerous areas.

Maximize Sterling’s Experience

Raheem Sterling’s familiarity with Manchester City’s playing style can be invaluable. His knowledge of City’s defensive behaviors could be leveraged to Chelsea’s advantage, particularly in finding and exploiting weak points.

Control Midfield Tempo

City’s midfield is crucial to their game. Chelsea should look to control the tempo and deny City the rhythm they need to feed their forwards effectively.

Disciplined Defensive Shape

Maintaining a disciplined defensive shape will be crucial. This means avoiding getting pulled out of position by City’s movement and ensuring that there are always players ready to cover when others step out to press.

Strategic Pressing

Implementing a strategic pressing system that targets specific players, particularly those less comfortable under pressure, can force turnovers in advantageous areas of the pitch for Chelsea.

Effective Use of Wide Areas

Manchester City’s fullbacks often push high up the pitch, which can leave space behind them. Chelsea should exploit these areas with quick switches of play and rapid wide attacks.

Set-Piece Efficiency

Lastly, making the most of set-pieces could be a game-changer, especially if the match is tight. Precision in free-kicks and corners, along with rehearsed plays, can take advantage of any lapse in City’s defensive set-up.

By focusing on these keys, Chelsea can look to disrupt Manchester City’s rhythm, exploit any weaknesses, and create scoring opportunities that could lead to a significant victory.

Memorable Chelsea FC Moments in European Competitions

As a Chelsea fan, it can be rather odd not seeing the Blues in European action this season, especially in the modern era. Of course, the last time the club were not in continental competition, the team went on to win the Premier League title in Antonio Conte’s first season at Stamford Bridge.

Now, those that are looking at the latest sport betting odds will know that this is something that is very unlikely to happen under Mauricio Pochettino, but Blues fans can hope, right? The odds have them listed at 33/1, with five other teams in font of them as the most likely to be crowned PL champions.

With Chelsea out of European competition, this year feels like an opportunity to look back at how the club has performed in previous editions of the various tournaments played in their history. There are numerous moments which are etched into the memories of supporters forever. At the same time, though, there are moments that may have been forgotten about, too, such as dramatic meetings.

UEFA Champions League Memorable Moments

Starting with the biggest competition, Chelsea have a ton of memorable and dramatic moments to have happened in the UEFA Champions League.

Everyone connected and associated with the club will remember the successes that were enjoyed in 2012 (Bayern Munich) and 2021 (Manchester City), while others may remember the goal scored by Fernando Torres against Barcelona to get the club to the final against Bayern Munich.

Unfortunately, everyone will also remember the 2008 final in Moscow that ended in heartbreak after the Blues lost in an extremely wet penalty shootout.

However, there may be other moments that can often be forgotten that were incredibly dramatic. Many of these have come against Barcelona, with the two clubs appearing to have formed a hugely competitive rivalry between each other over the years. The game in 2009 was memorable for being “a disgrace” (as Didier Drogba put it), while there were other moments that were incredibly upsetting. Ronaldinho managed to score an incredible goal that ended Chelsea’s hopes of advancing in 2005 at Stamford Bridge.

The route to the final in 2012 was perhaps the most dramatic for the Blues, though. While they coasted largely through the competition in the group stage, they required some inspired performances in the knockout phase. The Round of 16 tie against Napoli required the club to bounce back from a 3-1 deficit from the first leg and managed to record a 4-1 victory after extra time. The semifinal against Barcelona in which Torres was also part of the same competition, thus making it even more dramatic.

UEFA Europa League

The Blues may have had a disastrous record in the UEFA Cup during the 2000s, but they did win UEFA Europa League on the two occasions they have been in it since. They defeated Benfica 2-1 in the 2012/13 final before dispatching Arsenal 4-1 in the 2018/19 final.

Chelsea’s first title came after a disappointing UCL defence of their title, as they finished third in their Group. The 2018/19 tournament was a little more interesting in terms of memorable moments, with the club easing their way to the semifinals before really being tested.

The semifinal, though, also proved to be dramatic as it required the Blues to beat Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties. Kepa Arrizabalaga came up trumps on the night as he managed to save two attempts from the Bundesliga’s players.

More memorable and dramatic European adventures to come?

In recent seasons, it would seem that drama can follow Chelsea around as they look to find their identity again. The biggest question will be regarding how quickly they can return to their place?

The season’s start hasn’t been too good in the Premier League, with only one victory in the first 4 rounds. However, while there might be some concern regarding what the immediate future may look like, it would not be a surprise if there were more European adventures across the UCL and the UEL (and maybe even the UEFA Europa Conference League) in the future.

The Blues have a squad that is far too talented, despite perhaps being inexperienced, and with youth on their side, and a manager of Pochettino’s quality on board, there is no reason to think it could be any longer than a few years before we are jumping on flights and playing across the continent for the biggest honors again.

Chelsea Could End Up Counting Midweek Blessings

If straws are there to be clutched, then grab hold of them with both hands. Never be ashamed of trying to take positives even when the odds appear stacked against you.

The last year or so may not have been among the most glittering of periods for Chelsea Football Club – far from it – but there is always the promise of light at the end of the tunnel.

Eventually, the £1 billion spending spree that has generated so many unfortunate headlines will start to see a return and collective fortunes will head in a more favourable direction.

Epic

It may seem like an epic project right now, but the groundwork is being put in place. There remains plenty of talent at Stamford Bridge, even if Premier League winner odds that have the Blues priced at 33/1 for a first crown since 2017 may not reflect that.

More favour can be found within football tips, with prices regarding top-four finishes and potential cup success considerably shorter than those focused on the battle for ultimate supremacy in the English top flight.

It is here where Chelsea may truly prosper, especially as they have few midweek distractions to contend with.

It goes without saying that everybody in the blue quarter of west London would prefer to be competing on a European stage in 2023-24 – allowing bids to be launched for more Champions League and Europa League titles, or even a first Europa Conference League crown.

That is not the case and the best must be made of an unfortunate situation.

Chelsea have considerably fewer games on their schedule this season, and that should help to keep players fresh. They also have no Wednesday or Thursday nights to far-flung outposts of the continent with which to concern themselves.

Rest and rotation always had to be factored in when returning to Premier League action from midweek journeys beyond English shores.

Now, Mauricio Pochettino should – at least in theory – be in a position to name his strongest and most settled side whenever precious points come up for grabs. There is always plenty to be said for stability and continuity.

The man calling the shots has been eager to point out that he is starting out down a long and winding road at Chelsea, with the Blues’ Argentine head coach saying shortly after inheriting the reins: “We are building something special. It’s a process and we need time. But in football you cannot ask for time and you need to deliver now.”

Message

Pochettino finds himself occupying the warmest of hot seats, one that saw three occupants come and go in the space of just one season last term. If he wants to get comfortable, then positive results are a must.

There are plenty of fresh faces to bed in and a favoured tactical message to get across. Those processes take time and the South American is right to ask for patience.

With so much to do in the immediate present and short-term future, it may end up being a blessing that collective focus at Stamford Bridge is being narrowed on purely domestic competition.

JJ Watt: The Burnley New Investor Is Actually A Chelsea Fan

With football being the biggest sport in the world, many professional athletes who are now retired and have money to spare decided to make a strategic investment. 

NFL legend Tom Brady, for example, decided to invest in Championship team Birmingham City. And this is not just athletes, we’ve seen many celebrities like Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhanney investing in football, with their Wrexham AFC project, which already saw them being promoted to League Two. 

Before Brady, however, NFL star JJ Watt was one of the pioneers of this trend, investing with his wife to become partial owners of Burnley F.C. And one season was enough for Watt to see the Clarets being promoted to the Premier League, with former Manchester City coach Vincent Kompany at the helm.

Who would thought NFL stars would be interested in European football? It seems like now that he is retired he has more time to scout for the perfect investment and being an athletic spirit, of course, he invests in another sport.

So, what’s up with all the investments, and why suddenly everyone is interested in owning a football team?

Well, it is probably a good investment for making money since football (the non-American one) is the number one sport in the world in terms of fans, and it is growing every year. It is definitely not about passion for the teams, since most of these investors are not that familiar with football.

What you probably would not guess is that despite investing in Burnley, Watt has actually confessed in the past to be a Chelsea fan.

JJ Watt and His Wife Investing in Burnley F.C

It wasn’t too far ago that defensive end JJ Watt was leading the NFL odds for Defensive Player Of The Year, an award he received three times throughout his career. 

Now the retired NFL legend, and his wife, Kealia Watt, a star in the NWSL, have stepped into the world of football (or soccer) with a savvy move. They’ve snagged a minority ownership stake in the current Championship winners, Burnley FC. It is important to note that when Watt took the initiative to invest in the Clarets they had been relegated and were not in the Premier League as they are now. 

Now, they’ve been pretty hush-hush about the nitty-gritty of their investment, but here’s the backstory. Not too long ago, in 2020, an American investment firm called Alk Capital boldly splashed out around £200 million (that’s a cool $250 million) to grab the reins of Burnley FC.

So, what’s Burnley FC’s story? Well, they faced a bit of a rough patch in 2022, getting relegated to the EFL Championship. But, don’t count them out just yet—they hustled hard and secured their ticket back to the Premier League for the upcoming season in April.

Kealia Watt, you might know her from her time with the UWSNT and as a current free agent in the NWSL, is all set to play a key role in nurturing and expanding Burnley FC’s women’s team. It’s a testament to her dedication to the beautiful game.

Now, beyond their bold move in English football, the Watts are making waves in the real estate world. They’ve recently dropped a cool $7 million on a stunning mansion tucked away in the scenic city of Phoenix, Arizona. 

This comes right after JJ Watt hung up his NFL boots, capping off a remarkable career that bagged him three NFL Defensive Player of the Year titles and solidified his place as a future Hall of Famer.

But what’s the deal with Chelsea?

Is JJ Watt a Chelsea Fan?

As Watt gears up for his inaugural full season as an investor in Burnley, he’s preparing to face a club that holds a special place in his heart—Chelsea. 

In a recent interview with talkSPORT, Watt openly shared his affection for the Blues, a team he’s supported in the past. There’s no hiding it; he’s a true Chelsea fan through and through.

“I was a big, big Didier Drogba fan from his Ivory Coast days so I followed along with Chelsea. I do not hide it and I am sure people are going to send photos of me holding up a Chelsea kit.”

“They can also show photos of me holding up a Manchester City kit because Sergio Aguero is my friend or a Tottenham Hotspur kit because Harry Kane is my friend. These things are going to be out there and that is fine but the reality is that Burnley is the right club for us because there is an opportunity to come in and make a difference.”

But this doesn’t mean a lot for his Burnley F.C. investment. After all, he is a true athlete who values all sports. He even stated that helping a football team like Burnley FC would make him feel very happy, no matter which team he supports.

He might be a Chelsea fan, but there is a good chance that he will turn to Burnley F.C. quickly this season, especially when they play against Chelsea. After all, it is all about money and passion for the sport, and when you are the owner of a team that is playing, you don’t care who you supported in the past.

JJ Watt also pointed out that he and his wife are minority investors and there are a lot of “majority investors” or decision makers that are in charge of Burnley F.C. Their goal as minority investors is to talk about the team, tell the story about Burnley F.C and make them feel seen on the global scene.

Even though Burnley F.C. got promoted to the Premier League they have a lot on their shoulders that they need to prove. The start of this year’s season isn’t the best since they already played three matches and lost all of them and their rivals got a head start. 

Burnley hosts the Blues on October 7th at Turf Moor and we can imagine Watt’s heart will be divided. May the best team win and hopefully that team will be Chelsea. Sorry JJ!

What will be judged a successful first season for Mauricio Pochettino?

Last season has to go down as one of the worst in Chelsea’s history. The club went through three managers (four if you include Bruno Saltor who took charge for one game against Liverpool) and earned just 44 points – their lowest in the top flight since they were relegated in 1988. And a 12th place finish means there will be no European football at Stamford Bridge this season.

So, when they signed off a disappointing year with a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle, you’d have been forgiven for thinking there was little optimism around the club for the following season. And you certainly wouldn’t have expected Chelsea to be prominent in Premier League betting markets.

But after a summer of change, there appears to be a mood of quiet optimism around the place. Some of the old guard have been moved on, with the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic finding new clubs. And several new players have joined, most of whom for eye-watering transfer fees, too.

And the new owners have brought in ex-Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino to oversee their project. Poch certainly feels more like a project manager than some of the win-now bosses such as Antonio Conte and Carlo Ancelotti who were brought in by Roman Abramovich. But after spending almost £286 million on new players this summer, what will be considered a successful first season for the new Chelsea manager?

For all that they’ve spent this summer, it does appear the Chelsea hierarchy are looking at a long-term project under Pochettino. Young players have been signed on seven and eight-year contracts, indicating the club intends them to either stay in West London for a long time or move on for huge transfer fees which will allow for more investment in the team.

It was an avenue they seemed to be exploring when Graham Potter was appointed on a 5-year deal in September last year. But after just 11 wins in 31 games at Chelsea, his tenure was brought to an end.

While only appointed on a 2-year deal, Pochettino brings a wealth of experience to the job, including a 54.27% win rate at Tottenham where he consistently achieved top four finishes. Much has been made of Spurs’ lack of trophies during the Pochettino era, but he did take the club to their first ever Champions League final as well as the League Cup Final in 2015.

In 2016, Tottenham came as close as they ever had to winning the Premier League before, ironically, drawing with Chelsea on a famous night at the Bridge to hand the title to Leicester.

Perhaps more importantly for Chelsea fans, though, is the intense high-pressing style he adopted at Spurs (and at Southampton before that) which has been proven to work in the Premier League.

Chelsea are unlikely to win the Premier League this season. But for fans and owners alike, a top four finish must be the expectation. Winning a trophy would be the icing on the cake. But Chelsea is a club that believes it deserves to dine at Europe’s top table and anything less than Champions League qualification will be deemed unsuccessful for Pochettino in his first year at the club.

Unveiling the Enigma: Strange Facts About Chelsea Football Club

Founded in 1905, Chelsea Football Club has a rich and varied history that spans over a century. The club’s origins were as ambitious as they were unique, emerging from the vision of businessman Henry Augustus Mears, who aimed to create a team at Stamford Bridge that would cater to retired veterans – hence the club’s initial nickname, “The Pensioners.” Over the years, Chelsea evolved from its blue kit and early successes to becoming a dominant force in English and European football, propelled by notable figures like manager Jose Mourinho and owner Roman Abramovich. With multiple Premier League titles, FA Cups, and a coveted UEFA Champions League triumph, Chelsea’s history is a testament to its ability to adapt, excel, and capture the hearts of fans worldwide. If you want to earn money on football – try gambling online.

Can Chelsea Assets Make the Difference in the 2023/24 FPL Season? 

Chelsea have gone through one of the toughest Premier League campaigns in the last decade last season when they finished as low as 12th in the top flight of English football. The fact that the team have scored no more than 38 goals in 38 matches says enough about a dismal run they’ve had throughout the entire campaign. The Blues were especially dreadful in the second half of the season when the fans and the experts believed in their success on the back of numerous costly signings during the winter transfer window.

Chelsea August Fixtures and their Squad for the 2023/2024 Season

Chelsea’s last season campaign was an underwhelming one that saw the Stamford Bridge outfit have three managers take charge of affairs, but none of them could salvage the situation. Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment as the new manager was a breath of fresh air to a squad short on confidence and who cut frustrated figures in the last games of the last campaign. Pochettino seems to have his work cut out already, but we all wait and see if the Argentine tactician has what it takes to carry the Blues back to their Glory days.

August 2023 Fixtures

Chelsea has three fixtures in August to mark the start of the new campaign. These are two home games with Liverpool and Luton and one away fixture with West Ham. You can place your bets on these and other games on https://gg.bet/en and experience sports betting like never before.

Chelsea Vs. Liverpool

The Blues begin the new campaign on Sunday, August 13th, by welcoming Liverpool to Stamford Bridge. This mouth-watering clash wouldn’t be Pochettino’s first game choice as a new manager and will be a big test for Chelsea to prove that they can still be counted among the best in English football.

Jurgen Klopp’s side won’t be an easy opponent as they too have something to prove, and it will be a thrilling battle that we all can’t wait for. The winner will walk away with the much-needed confidence boost required in the Premier League. Will Chelsea come on top? We will have to wait for this one out.

West Ham VS Chelsea

The next fixture will be a visit to London Stadium. This London Derby is another tough fixture that Chelsea will have to dig deep into if they are to come out of it with something. David Moyes’s side showed their quality in the last campaign, both in the Premier League and Europe, going ahead to bag the Europa Conference League trophy. They ended the season high on confidence, but will they bring that to the new season?

There has been some unease with the West Ham faithful over the lack of activity on the transfer market, especially after losing Declan Rice to Arsenal in a club-record deal. But regardless of the happenings off the pitch, and this being an away derby, Chelsea have to be ready to fight it out if they are to walk away with the three points.

Chelsea vs Luton

Chelsea’s third and final fixture in August will be at home to newly promoted Luton. Luton showed what they are made of in the style and manner in which they earned their promotion to the Premier League, and they will be a force to reckon with in this campaign. Of the three August fixtures, these appear to be the easiest for Chelsea, but as the saying goes, there is no easy game in the Premier League.

Chelsea’s Squad for the 2023/2024 Season

Amid a huge clearout at Stamford Bridge, with up to 7 players moving to other clubs, the club has made some signings and will look to make some additions before the end of the transfer window. Below are the players currently making up the Chelsea squad for the 2023/2024 campaign.

Goalkeepers

Defenders

Midfielders

Forwards

Will Chelsea Force Their Way into the Top Four Next Season?

Chelsea will head into the 2023/24 season with one primary objective – to force their way back into the top four in the Premier League.

The Blues finished 12th last term to miss out on European qualification, but they head into the new campaign with renewed optimism after a positive summer.

Chelsea have shipped out plenty of deadwood while bringing in some quality new signings to work under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Finishing in the top four will be the minimum requirement next season, so let’s take a closer look at how the battle is likely to shape up.

Man City fancied to make it four-in-a-row

Manchester City are aiming to win the title for the fourth successive year and rated as odds-on favourites by Betway to get the job done.

Even if the bookmakers have called this one wrong, it is impossible to imagine Man City not finishing somewhere inside the top four.

Pep Guardiola has built a formidable squad at the Etihad Stadium and their experience of winning silverware will stand them in good stead next term.

While Man City are impossible to oppose in the outright betting market, which team will be their closest challengers is less clear.

Arsenal expecting to close the gap on City

Arsenal were in the title conversation for most of last season, but they were overhauled by Guardiola’s relentless City machine on the run-in.

The Gunners ended the campaign five points adrift of the champions and will expect to finish closer this time around.

However, with question marks hanging over their summer transfer business, it would be foolish to overestimate Arsenal’s chances of toppling City.

The odds suggest they should finish in the top four, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility for them to suffer a drop in performances this season.

Northern big guns will be troublesome

Manchester United were much-improved under manager Erik ten Hag last season and could be a good bet to emerge as Man City’s main challengers.

They have improved their squad this summer and should be firmly entrenched in the top four as the season progresses.

Liverpool will also expect to be in the mix after finishing fifth last season and may well be Chelsea’s main obstacle to getting back into the top four.

Newcastle United are another team who could be in contention, although they may find it tough to replicate last season’s third place this time around.

Top four return is on the cards for Chelsea

With no European football to distract them, Chelsea can fully focus their efforts on bagging a top four spot in the Premier League.

Man City look guaranteed to maintain their status at the top, while Man United are a good bet to make further progress under Ten Hag.

Arsenal and Liverpool should also be in contention and we anticipate that Jurgen Klopp’s side will be the biggest barrier to Chelsea’s hopes.

The Blues undoubtedly have a squad capable of finishing in the top four and they are fancied to get over the line, albeit narrowly ahead of Liverpool.

Who Was the Last Chelsea Player to Score 20 Premier League Goals in a Season?

When taking into account the calibre of striking talent that Chelsea have had on their books in recent times, the art of hitting the back of the net should have been made to look so difficult. The Blues have rarely been short on goals as a collective, but those who are in the team specifically to provide the end product in the final third have not always lived up to expectations.

Big money has been invested in that department, but little return has been offered by supposedly international-class performers that proved elsewhere that they do know where the back of the net is. A new low was hit in 2022-23, with three different managers failing to get a tune out of the attacking orchestra at Stamford Bridge. Just 38 goals were recorded in as many Premier League fixtures. Said struggles contributed significantly to the Blues limping their way to a 12th-place finish, with European qualification falling a long way out of reach.

Mauricio Pochettino has been drafted in as coach – with prior experience of life in England from spells at Southampton and Tottenham – and charged with the task of delivering a reversal in fortune. Pochettino was considered to be the pick of available bosses, following much consideration, but clearly has a sizeable task on his hands in west London.

Magic


There’s no magic wand to wave at Chelsea, having become stuck in a serious rut, and the betting operators in the UK aren’t convinced that a corner will be turned. The Blues are priced at 13/10 by Bzeebet to finish above Liverpool next term, while Spread Ex Sports have them at 13/8 for a top-four finish and 1/2 to end up inside the top six.

When it comes to goal scoring, Luckster prices the 2021 Champions League winners at 149/10 to better the output of every divisional rival in the English top tier. That isn’t a chart that the Blues have grown accustomed to topping down the years. Efforts are, however, been made to ensure that there is plenty of firepower at Pochettino’s disposal – with it possible that the most famous of striking jerseys will once again come up for grabs this summer.

The No.9 shirt is synonymous with fearsome frontmen, but it has weighed heavy on many at the Bridge. Thomas Tuchel said of that shirt during his tenure: “It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed. There was not a big demand for No 9. Players sometimes want to change numbers but, surprisingly, nobody wants to touch it.”

That stance isn’t all that surprising given how those filling said spot in the Chelsea squad have fared of late. From Chris Sutton to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang via Mateja Kezman, Franco Di Santo, Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao, Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain and Romelu Lukaku, the No.9 shirt has not been kind to its many inhabitants.

Confusing


Maybe there’s substance to the ‘curse’ talk, with there clearly something holding Chelsea back. To have such pedigree at your disposal and do relatively little with is as frustrating as it’s confusing. None of those mentioned above was able to reach the fabled 20-goal mark in Premier League competition when donning a famous blue kit. In fact, nobody has hit that target in the last six seasons – why really is far too long?

Enigmatic Spain international Diego Costa, who has since admitted that he was “wrong going to Chelsea”, was the last man to reach 20 efforts in the English top flight. He did so back in the 2016-17 campaign – a season in which Antonio Conte delivered the club’s last Premier League title.

Proven performers have come and gone since then, with an eye-watering amount of money spent, but nobody has been able to perform at the level that’s expected from those charged with the task of leading any given line. Will that situation change any time soon? More funds are being thrown at the most glaring of problems, but that approach has backfired before – on several occasions.

Chelsea is looking for another Costa, another Didier Drogba, even another Frank Lampard to hit 20 goals from a deep-lying berth, but whether they can tick that box and whether anybody wants to take on the No.9 shirt – remains to be seen.

A Busy Summer Ahead for New Chelsea Manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino started his new role as Chelsea’s manager at the beginning of July, and it is fair to say that after last season’s disastrous campaign, the Argentine has a massive job on his hands.

Pochettino has a complete mess to sort out. There is a squad of talented players there to work with, of that, there is little doubt. But after the shambolic season the Blues have just endured, Pochettino could be forgiven for not knowing where to start.

Will Pochettino be given time?

It might sound like a stupid question to be asking about a guy who has just started the job, but after what happened with Graham Potter, it seems a valid question.

Already bookmakers are taking bets on who will be the first manager to leave his position this season. In the Betfair football betting, Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui leads that betting market at 9/2, while Pochettino is at odds of 25/1. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that there will be many football betting tips for the Chelsea boss to be shown the door first. But that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to be at Chelsea for the whole season.

The Blues board backed Graham Potter for longer than most expected, until his departure from Chelsea in April. They may not be so patient if a similar situation arises this season.

Balancing the books

Although transfers in and out of Chelsea don’t seem to be solely the manager’s remit, Pochettino will have a say.

After all the incoming signings last January, there will have to be players heading for the exit door. This is because Chelsea needs to balance the books and avoid falling foul of the financial fair play rules.

Pochettino will no doubt have a big say in who goes. So the Argentine will need to quickly identify who he sees as a part of his squad moving forwards.

Identifying new targets

Just because Chelsea is set to offload players doesn’t mean they won’t be bringing new ones in.

This squad is far from perfect, and as any football fan could see last season, is very unbalanced. So as well as identifying players who can leave, Pochettino will also need to quickly decide the areas of his squad that need strengthening, to allow the club a chance to make the correct signings before the summer transfer window closes.

Build a team

This may also sound a bit silly, but does anybody know what Chelsea’s best team is? That hasn’t stopped places such as Football.London from guessing, although that’s a brave task considering the number of factors to consider.

Some of the players who finished last season in the starting XI have already moved on. And of the January signings, some of them struggled and were left out of the team after Frank Lampard took over.

Confidence at Stamford Bridge looked shot at the end of the 2022/23 season, and it will take a huge effort from Pochettino to rebuild the belief in whoever he selects as his core group of players.

Back the manager

Whatever the expectations are for Mauricio Pochettino in his first season at Stamford Bridge, one thing he needs from the club, his players, and the fans, is their collective backing.

It shouldn’t matter what Blues fans think of the two English clubs Pochettino has previously managed, he did a decent enough job at them both.

The man has a proven track record in England, and most fans backed his appointment at the Bridge. Given their full backing, there is a good chance Pochettino can bring back the glory days.

Chelsea Spent £50 Million Per Premier League Win This Season

Chelsea spent an unprecedented £48,407,494 per Premier League win during 2022/23, according to research conducted by Wagering Advisors – 132% more than any other team.

Since American businessman Todd Boehly took control at Stamford Bridge, he has not been shy about spending big. Unfortunately, this approach has failed to bring results and caused further discord at Chelsea this season.

Boehly has already spent an astonishing £532M during his short tenure, purchasing players such as Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Raheem Sterling.

With only 11 victories this season, Chelsea had by far the highest total transfer spend per win in the league.

Relegated Southampton had the second highest spend per win; spending over £125M on reinforcements such as Kamaldeen Sulemana, Paul Onuachu, and Armel Bella-Kotchap.

After earning only six wins this season, their total spend per win totalled £20,848,284.

Nottingham Forest had an exceptional 2023, signing 30 players during their return to the Premier League.

After narrowly escaping relegation and winning nine games, their total spend per win reached £18,891,414, second only to Chelsea and Southampton.

Leeds United were unable to replicate their last day survival from 2021-22 despite spending over £126,000,000 this season.

After only seven victories all season – only worsened by bottom club Southampton – their total spend per win came to £18,111,292.

Manchester City are notoriously known for their lavish spending, yet when measured against spend per win they surprisingly spent less than £5 million.

Manchester United have enjoyed an excellent first season under Erik ten Hag, with their spending amounting to £9,210,739 per win in their pursuit of Champions League football back at Old Trafford.

Roberto de Zerbi will lead Brighton into European competition for the very first time next season.

After an outstanding campaign, Brighton finished sixth and also had the lowest spend per win at £2,696,078 – nearly 18 times less than Chelsea.

Cech Reveals New Sport ‘More Fun than Champions League’

Chelsea legend Petr Cech has said that playing ice hockey is something that he always wanted to do. The 40-year-old is a modern day Premier League legend and hung up his boots from the game in 2019 at the age of 37. He was last on the books of Arsenal and opted to retire after losing the fist-choice goalkeeping position at the Gunners to Bernd Leno.

“It’s a completely different level of pressure. This is more fun than when you play a Champions League game for everything,” he said. “I still have that feeling in myself because I want to perform. I want to win. I hate losing. It’s the same feeling I had when I played football.

“You still get that feeling when you’re walking through the corridor, to the ice, surrounded by all these people. Maybe if there were 30 fans, it would be different. But the building is full. That’s what I like.”

He has since fulfilled a childhood dream by playing ice hockey for Guildford Phoenix and now Chelmsford Chieftains. Cech has said that turning to ice hockey was something that he dreamed about since he was a child.

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He took up the game in 2019 after he retired from football. He currently wears the no 39 shirt for the Chieftains and is keen to add more silverware to his personal cabinet, even describing ice-hockey as being more fun than playing in the Champions League.

Cech won virtually everything that there is to win in club football during his time with Chelsea. Perhaps the greatest memory of his time with the Blues and one of the greatest performances in Champions League history came during the 2012 final of the competition as he single handedly led the West London  club to the title following a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich.

Prior to his time in ice hockey, Cech was working for Chelsea in a backroom role as a directly under former owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian oligarch had to sell the club in 2022 following sanctions levelled against him due to the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war.

The club has since been taken over by American businessmen Todd Boehly and business partners. Cech was released from the club upon the takeover of the new ownership. It remains to be seen if he will ever come back to football in a backroom role.

Real Madrid’s Hazard Apologises After Being Friendly With Chelsea Players

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard has issued an apology to football fans after appearing to be friendly with Chelsea players after Los Blancos recently lost their Champions League semi-final tie to his former club, Chelsea.

Hazard has been a flop at Chelsea

During a seven-year spell with Chelsea, Hazard established himself as one of the best players in the world. He won nearly everything there is to win in his time at Stamford Bridge, though the one major trophy which eluded him was the Champions League.

Hazard joined Madrid in the summer of 2019 and the reason that he left Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu was to try and win the Champions League.

The Blues did not win Europe’s Premier Club competition during the Belgian ace’s time with them and largely struggled to reach the final stages of the competition since they won the tournament in 2012.

There is no doubt that the fact that Hazard is a former Chelsea and not doing well at Madrid would have infuriated fans of the Spanish giants.

To add to the frustrations of Madrid fans, they brought in Hazard as a direct replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo who departed the club in the summer of 2018 to join Juventus.

Hazard has done anything but be a replacement for Ronaldo and it is believed that Madrid will be prepared to now listen to offers for him this summer.

“I am sorry. I have read lots of opinions about me today and it was not my intention to offend any Real Madrid fans,” Hazard posted on his Instagram story on Thursday.

“It has always been my dream to play for Real Madrid and I came here to win. The season is not over and together we must battle for La Liga! Hala Madrid!”

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What next for Hazard?

His reputation would have taken a knock as a result of his troubled spell at Chelsea but at 30-years-old, Hazard could still have another 3-4 years of good football left in him. These days, many top-level footballers are continuing to shine in the mid and late ’30s as is the case with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Hazard is a player who is a generational great and there is every reason that he can emulate Ronaldo and Messi if he is mentally strong.

 

What Next For Tammy Abraham?

Tammy Abraham was a hit for Chelsea in the 2019/20 season as he went on to score 15 goals in the Premier League from 34 appearances, helping the club to attain a top four finish under Frank Lampard.

The 23-year-old’s second season with the Blues has not exactly gone to plan as he has struggled to score goals on a regular basis.

There is speculation that Abraham may be sold this summer in order to raise funds to invest in two new strikers.

Should Abraham leave, the following are some potential destinations.

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West Ham

West Ham sold Sebastien Haller in the January transfer window and did not bring in a replacement, meaning that Michail Antonio has essentially been their only recognized striker since then.

David Moyes has developed a reputation for getting the most out of his players, as he did with Jesse Lingard and with majority of the players in the Hammers setup.

Given that Antonio is injury-prone and now over 30, Abraham is almost definite to get regular game time if he moves to the Hammers.

Crystal Palace

With Roy Hodgson set to turn 74 this year and nearing the end of his contract, the Eagles will be expected to appoint a new manager soon with ex Chelsea boss Frank Lampard being tipped to potentially succeed Hodgson.

Abraham played brilliantly under Lampard last season and so could be tempted by a move to Selhurst Park if the latter ends up becoming Eagles manager.

Palace will also be expected to offload Christian Benteke in the near future and so may consider Abraham as a potential replacement.

Newcastle

Newcastle’s entire forward options have struggled to score regularly this season and Steve Bruce’s side must look to sign a new striker as a matter of priority next summer.

St James Park may offer Abraham a good opportunity to rebuild his career but the question is whether it will be a good environment for him to be in?

 

Players Who Played For Both Arsenal And Chelsea

Being London rivals, Arsenal and Chelsea have never had a healthy relationship. However, there has been a fair share of players who transferred between the clubs.

This list will take a look at some of the names who have donned the jersey of both Chelsea and Arsenal.

Yossi Benayoun

Benayoun arrived at Chelsea in 2010 but was hardly used by the club. Interestingly, Chelsea loaned him out to Arsenal (arch-rival) in the middle of his spell.

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Lassana Diarra

As a youngster, Diarra was in the Chelsea fold but failed to win regular game time. He was sold to Arsenal in 2007 and went on to spend just one season with the Gunners before transferring to Portsmouth.

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Emmanuel Petit

Following a successful spell with Arsenal, the 1998 World Cup winner with France spent the final three years of his career at Stamford Bridge before hanging up his boots in 2004.

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Nicolas Anelka

A controversial character in his playing days, Anelka played for many clubs in his interesting career with Chelsea and Arsenal being among them. Anelka came through the Arsenal youth ranks before transferring to Real Madrid in 1999.

He moved to Chelsea from Bolton in 2008 and went on to spend the four most successful years of his career at Stamford Bridge as he helped the club win the Premier League and two FA Cups.

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Ashley Cole

Cole was part of the legendary Arsenal “Invicibles” side in 2004, helping Arsene Wenger’s side win the Premier League without losing a game. He lost the respect of most Arsenal fans by forcing through a transfer to Chelsea in 2006.

In his time at Chelsea, Cole won one Premier League, four FA Cups, one League Cup, the Champions League and Europa League.

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William Gallas

Gallas’ transfer was similar to Cole’s in that it was controversial but in his case, it was the opposite way around and led to him losing the respect of Chelsea fans after forcing through a transfer to Arsenal in 2006, where he spent four years, failing to win a major title.

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Cesc Fabregas

After establishing himself as one of the best players in the world at Arsenal, Fabregas left the Gunners to join boyhood club Barcelona in 2011. He spent three years in Spain before returning to England in 2014 with Chelsea where he would spend five years.

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Petr Cech

After 11 successful years at Chelsea, the Blues club legend left the club to join Arsenal in 2015. His transfer was not controversial as it was to get regular game time as a result of Thibaut Courtois displacing him as the Blues first-choice goalkeeper. Cech spent four years with the Gunners before hanging up his gloves in 2019.

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Olivier Giroud

Giroud’s transfer to Chelsea in 2018 was also hardly controversial. After six years at the Emirates, Giroud moved to Chelsea in January 2018 in order to try and get the playing time that he needed to win selection for France’s 2018 World Cup squad. He did just that, won the World Cup, and has been a valuable asset to the Blues dressing room.

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David Luiz

Luiz has had an interesting career. After two spells with Chelsea, the defender joined the Gunners in 2019 where he has continued to show signs of brilliance, though ultimately proven to be inconsistent.

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Willian

The most recent transfer between the clubs, Willian joined the Gunners from Chelsea in the summer of 2020. The Brazilian has struggled to find the net on a regular basis for the Gunners.

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Two Goalkeepers Chelsea Can Look At

The goalkeeping department at Chelsea has been one of the problem areas for the club since Thibaut Courtois left the club in the summer of 2018 to join Real Madrid.

The club brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga as a replacement for Courtois for a world-record £71.6 million with the Spaniard largely failing to impress at Stamford Bridge. Following Arrizabalaga’s struggles for consistency, the club brought in Senegal international Edouard Mendy last September. Mendy has since steadied the ship somewhat though there is debate over whether he really is a world-class keeper.

It would be a good idea for the club to look at selling Arrizabalaga in the near-future in order to recoup some of the funds that they spent on signing him and also to bring in a new shot-stopper to the club who can challenge for the first-choice goalkeeping position. The Spaniard has clearly not been a fit at Stamford Bridge and he should be allowed to go and continue his career elsewhere.

If the Blues want to win he league in the near-future, they do need a world-class shot-stopper between the sticks.

The following are two such keepers that they can look at:

Jan Oblak

Oblak has been Atleti’s undisputed first-choice goalkeeper since 2014 and since then, gone on to establish himself as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.

Oblak has not yet hit the peak of his career as a goalkeeper and whilst he has gone well with Atletico, he may be tempted to play in the Premier League at this stage of his career.

Interestingly, Diego Simeone’s side brought in Oblak as a replacement for Courtois in 2014 with the Belgian having returned to Chelsea following a successful loan spell with Atleti.

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Gianluigi Donnarumma

Though just 22-years-old, it’s hard to believe that Donnarumma has more than 200 Serie A caps under his belt for AC Milan, yes that’s right!

Donnarumma is set to remain Italy’s first-choice goalkeeper for the far-future with 25 national team caps already under his belt. He is already a world-class shot-stopper and may become one of the world’s best in the next few years.

He could be tempted to join Chelsea with AC Milan having underachieved since he broke into the first-team back in 2015.

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