EPL: Here’s Chelsea stunning XI with expected arrival of Aubameyang, De Jong and Fofana
It may’ve taken a while, but Chelsea have exploded into the summer transfer window.
After enduring a few teething problems during his transition period in the wake of his £4.25billion takeover, new owner Todd Boehly has been busy splashing the cash in a bid to bolster Thomas Tuchel ‘s squad for the new season. The Blues have already bagged Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly and Brighton ace Marc Cucurella for a combined £143million.
That was before spending £32m on Aston Villa prodigy Carney Chukwuemeka and Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina. But now Boehly is set to back Chelsea manager Tuchel with even more resources before deadline day on September 1, as Stamford Bridge chiefs work around the clock to complete a host of high-profile transfers which can transform their starting XI into one of Europe’s most spectacular.
Top on the Blues’ shopping list heading into the final three weeks of the window is Leicester City starlet Wesley Fofana. The 21-year-old French centre-back spent almost the entirety of last term on the sidelines with a serious injury but is back to show why he’s one of the world’s most coveted young defenders.
Chelsea are reportedly willing to a offer a record-breaking £85m to secure his services, with the youngster expected to slot in alongside the vastly experienced Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly to safeguard Edouard Mendy’s goal. With centre-backs Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger leaving on fee transfers this summer, it’s pivotal that Tuchel makes up for the departures in his mean defensive unit.
But that’s not the only area which the German is hoping to improve, with midfield also a position of interest. As N’Golo Kante and Jorginho’s contracts both expire in less than 12 months’ time, Tuchel wants to freshen up the Blues’ options middle of the park, Dutchman Frenkie de Jong is the ideal candidate and despite him wanting to stay at Barcelona, Chelsea fancy their chances and are said to be close to agreeing a fee with his current club.
The 25-year-old Netherlands international remains Manchester United’s top target, but the allure of playing Champions League football and living in London could convince him to turn down ex-Ajax boss Erik ten Hag. While Jorginho scored the only goal of the game as the Blues beat Everton on Saturday to start their Premier League campaign with a win, a dynamic partnership of De Jong and Kante would be a fierce prospect.
There’s also the wing-back roles which are so crucial for Tuchel’s system, with the £62.5m spent on Cucurella potentially making him a starter over Ben Chilwell once the 24-year-old Spaniard is up to speed with Chelsea’s style of play. Reece James won’t have that issue, though, making the right wing-back slot his own.
Moving forward, Raheem Sterling has already nailed down a place in the Blues’ attack alongside the ever-reliable Mason Mount, but striker remains arguably the most contentious position in Tuchel’s lineup. With Timo Werner sold, Romelu Lukaku loaned out and Kai Havertz not cutting it, there’s room for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to make a mark.
Tuchel worked with the former Arsenal captain to great success at Borussia Dortmund and is keen on taking him off Barcelona’s hands. The tactician has already hinted at being interested in reuniting with Aubameyang, who bagged 79 goals during the pair’s time together.
“I would be interested in the 79 goals,” admitted Tuchel. “We will not comment further. There are a lot of names out there, sometimes due to the fact we discuss a lot of names but also sometimes pure speculation. We will not get involved.”
It’s safe to say that whoever Chelsea sign, 2022-23 will be a fascinating season at a Bohely-led Stamford Bridge.