Chelsea’s invincible XI if Eden Hazard returns and Erling Haaland seals transfer

Will Chelsea sign a striker this summer?

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will be hoping to build on the club’s recent Champions League triumph with a renewed Premier League title challenge next season. The 47-year-old is reportedly looking to strengthen his ranks by using the transfer market to his advantage this summer, with attacking reinforcements believed to be the order of the day at Stamford Bridge.

Express Sport takes a look at the Blues side that could line up on the opening day against Crystal Palace if Tuchel manages to land not one, but two of his reported targets over the coming weeks.

Goalkeeper – Mendy

Edouard Mendy is almost certain to keep his place between the sticks next season after establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s finest goalkeepers last time around.

The Senegalese stopper has kept 25 clean sheets in all competitions since joining Chelsea from Rennes a year ago, with his efforts playing a significant role in leading the Blues to European glory.

Kepa Arrizabalaga impressed on occasion last season but is unlikely to oust Mendy from his starting berth ahead of the new campaign.

Meanwhile, a new third-choice goalkeeper could arrive this summer after the departure of Willy Caballero, with ex-Fulham man Marcus Bettinelli among the names to have been linked with the role in recent weeks.

JUST IN: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s five-man transfer wishlist

Defence – Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger

A large part of Chelsea’s success in the Champions League was built on their watertight back three, which is likely to go unchanged when the new season gets underway.

Cesar Azpilicueta has been a mainstay for the Blues since the turn of the year and it would be a shock if he were to be dropped for the game against Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger was given a new lease of life under Tuchel’s guidance last season and is expected to occupy one of the available centre-back spots on a regular basis once again.

He could be joined by Thiago Silva, who recently penned a one-year extension to keep him at Chelsea for another campaign.

Midfield – James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell

Tuchel’s decision to field two attacking wing-backs has worked wonders with the Blues, with Reece James catching the eye in the Champions League final with an assured performance on the right flank.

He is likely to be paired with England team-mate Ben Chilwell, who did not play a single minute at Euro 2020, on the other side.

N’Golo Kante could be in line to feature alongside Jorginho in the centre despite the latter striking up a formidable partnership with Mateo Kovacic last season.

Tuchel has waxed lyrical over the diminutive Frenchman on a number of recent occasions and could be prepared to hand him a starring role in place of Kovacic as the Blues chase a first Premier League title in five years.

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Attack – Mount, Hazard, Haaland

Chelsea’s weak link under Tuchel has undoubtedly been their attacking threat, with Kai Havertz forced to adapt to the No 9 role towards the back end of last season.

The 22-year-old and his compatriot Timo Werner could struggle to hold down a regular place in the side if the Blues manage to complete the marquee signings of Eden Hazard and Erling Haaland from Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

The former has been unable to replicate the form he showed at Chelsea with Los Blancos since joining the club in 2019, and has been tipped to return to west London ahead of the new campaign.

Meanwhile, Haaland is understood to be firmly at the top of Tuchel’s wish list, but the eye-watering cost of any potential move could pour cold water on the Blues manager’s hopes of securing his services this summer.

Possible Chelsea XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Hazard, Haaland.

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