Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Chelsea, according to reports, are keen on the signing of Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga. The France international is a top target for Manchester United but Thomas Tuchel, it seems, is a big admirer. So it’s now time to look at how the Blues could line up if they land the 18-year-old, as well as other targets Declan Rice and Erling Haaland.
Up until a year ago, Chelsea’s goalkeeping position was uncertain.
Kepa Arrizabalaga had arrived from Valencia in the summer transfer window of 2018 but, after two underwhelming years at Stamford Bridge, was never going to be given a clear run at the No 1 shirt again.
And while Chelsea were linked with the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Jan Oblak, they decided to land Edouard Mendy instead.
A whole 12 months on, and the signing of the 29-year-old certainly represents good business.
Mendy was brilliant as Chelsea won the Champions League last term and is poised to start next season as their first-choice goalkeeper again.
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Defence: Azpilicueta, Rice, Rudiger
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While Rice is a midfielder by trade, and shining there for England at Euro 2020, Chelsea targeted him a year ago because they wanted him to play in defence.
Frank Lampard was manager at the time and, if Tuchel lands his man, it’s possible the German will stick to the original plan.
Rice starting at the back would allow Chelsea to carefully manage Thiago Silva’s action, with the Brazil international entering the twilight years of his career.
And Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger could then partner him at the back.
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Midfield: James, Camavinga, Kante, Chilwell
While Chelsea star Jorginho has flourished at Euro 2020, it’s possible Camavinga could take his place in the heart of Tuchel’s midfield.
Of course, not for every game. At 18, the Rennes star still has plenty of learning to do.
But Camavinga would be a good midfield option for Chelsea, boosting their ranks and therefore their hopes of title glory next time out.
Alongside him would be N’Golo Kante, who returned to form under Tuchel having struggled for consistency under both Lampard and Maurizio Sarri.
And Reece James and Ben Chilwell may then be deployed as wing backs.
Attack: Mount, Havertz, Haaland
Chelsea know a deal for Haaland won’t be easy.
But they’re still determined to sign the Borussia Dortmund star, who plundered 40 goals across all competitions last term.
And if that happens, Timo Werner may then drop to the bench.
Tuchel like to play with just the one striker and though the Germany international has obvious talent, he failed to live up to expectations during his first year in the capital.
Haaland, with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz behind him, would certainly be a frightening prospect for Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.
And it could be the recipe for yet more glory in the coming years ahead.
Chelsea’s first 5 Premier League fixtures:
Saturday August 14 – Crystal Palace – 3pm, Stamford Bridge.
Sunday August 22 – Arsenal – 4.30pm, Emirates Stadium.
Saturday August 28 – Liverpool – 5.30pm, Anfield.
Saturday September 11 – Aston Villa – 3pm, Stamford Bridge.
Saturday September 18 – Tottenham Hotspur – 3pm, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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