It’s not too often that a busy transfer window is followed up by an even busier one but Chelsea are trying. After condensing their summer action towards the second half of the window due to ownership changes and interim sporting director hitches they still managed to spend over £250million.
Whether that was wise or not is not yet clear . Early indications suggest not, but with £50million spent on teenagers, Wesley Fofana being just 22 and Raheem Sterling the club’s top scorer and assister this season it’s perhaps not as simple to write off as first thought. What is easier to understand is that the job isn’t done yet.
Todd Boehly is backing Graham Potter and his newly formed recruitment team behind the scenes in order to create a juggernaut for years to come. These things don’t just happen overnight but over two windows, around six months and with a lot of funding there could be a big difference to Chelsea.
Although Thiago Silva, Reece James and Mason Mount remain key players it is arguable that almost the entirety of the team has changed outside that. Ben Chilwell is still first choice when fit but he has missed most of 2022. Mateo Kovacic is a valued team member but has had his own fitness issues.
Kai Havertz has found his scoring touch more recently under Potter but given the investment being pumped into the team’s forward line his position is far from secure. Players are coming in at an almost alarming rate to overhaul the squad in as few windows as possible, so football.london has taken a look at what the attack may look like in 2023.
Although he won’t be able to play until the summer, when it is expected he will officially join off the back of a £50million pre-agreement with RB Leipzig, Nkunku will surely be amongst the first names on the teamsheet.
His attacking numbers across the past two years have rivalled the best in the world and his versatility makes him a very attractive prospect for Potter. Be it on the left, right, centre or deeper behind a front-line, Nkunku is set for a key role. For this we have him starting off the left as an attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1.
The formation itself doesn’t quite fit everyone in given the number of players Chelsea already have and who they are genuinely likely to sign. This shape, for instance, wouldn’t have room for Mount. But, it does have space for Felix to play in his preferred role as a shadow striker.
In an attacking and fluid system, one that he has already said he likes more than Diego Simeone’s rigid 4-4-2 , Felix could shine. His movement between the lines and ability to dribble, find space and execute neat passes is something Chelsea are missing. With a true No.9 ahead of him this could be a dream come true. Felix has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge on loan in January but could cost £13.2million for six months with loan fees and wages paid up.
Although Leao prefers the left we have Nkunku there simply because he is almost certain to sign whereas Leao simply isn’t. With a reported £77million price tag in January there is a chance something could get done but this is more likely to role on into the summer. Also, when James is fit it would be a scary right- hand side. Leao and James are too of the best physical presences mixed with technical skill that overwhelm opposition. Putting them both on the same side together would be frightening.
David Datro Fofana
The only player in this dream attack that is actually confirmed, Fofana is in up front. Havertz is a more realistic choice but given Fofana is more of a fixed focal point he can be the man for the others to play around. For £10million he is a cheap option in the modern market but has a good all-round game for a forward . It may take him time to develop but there is no rush with this deal. Plus, there’s plenty going on around him to make up for it.