Chelsea are currently in first place on 66 points with 11 games remaining. They are ten points clear of second place Tottenham Hotspur, and look like they have the Premier League wrapped up. Next season, however, is going to be extremely difficult for Chelsea to win the title again. There are some areas where Chelsea can improve their squad and retain their Premier League trophy.
Chelsea have one of the best goalies in the world in Thibaut Courtois. Courtois is only 24 years of age and can still perform on a high level for many years to come. Courtois may one day surpass his one-time teammate Petr Čech, who is Chelsea’s top goalie of all time. Chelsea also have a great backup goalie in Asmir Begović. Begović is a great backup goalie, and could be the number one goalie for most Premier League sides.
Chelsea run a 3-4-3 so they have three center backs, which is uncommon in the Premier League where you usually see most sides run a standard four in the back, that features two center backs. Due to this Chelsea need more center backs for rotation. Chelsea currently have six center backs in César Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, John Terry, David Luiz, Nathan Aké,
and Kurt Zouma. Azpilicueta, Cahill, and Luiz have been the usual three starting center backs this season, while Zouma and Aké have been part of the rotation. John Terry on the other hand is 36 years old, and his role at the club has been getting smaller and smaller as his minutes decrease. Since Terry will likely retire in the next couple years, Chelsea should look for a young center back who could potentially replace John Terry’s rotation part on the bench, and ultimately replace either Gary Cahill who is 31, or David Luiz who is 29. Instead of buying an expensive center back, Chelsea can just wait till the end of this summer when their young center back Andreas Christensen will return to Chelsea. Christensen has been on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach for two seasons. Christensen has had an impressive spell with Mönchengladbach in Germany, making 69 appearances in almost two years. The six-foot-two Danish center back is only 20 years old, and has already made ten appearances for the Denmark national team. Christensen could fit into Chelsea’s system with his great passing for a center back, and could be a potential replacement for David Luiz.
Chelsea currently only have two wing backs, Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso. Both have performed great this year, but do not have good backups. They both will retain their starting spot, but they both might get new backups this summer. As a backup for Marcos Alonso on the left Chelsea could look at Jordan Amavi of Aston Villa. Villa are currently in the Championship (second division in English football) and have not had a great season after being relegated from the Premier League a year before. One positive from Villas poor season has been Amavi. Amavi is a highly-rated left back, and is too good to be playing in the Championship. Amavi would be a very strong backup, and could fit nicely into the left-wing back role as he is a very good dribbler, but still is a solid defender. On the right Chelsea should go after Stephan Lichtsteiner. Lichtsteiner currently plays for Juventus in Italy. Chelsea would be able to buy Lichtsteiner for a cheap price due to his age of 33. The high age may be a little worrying for Chelsea, but the great thing about Lichtsteiner is that he has already been coached by Antonino Conte at Juventus and will be familiar with his old coach’s tactics.
Chelsea already have a great paring in midfield with N’Golo Kanté and Nemanja Matić. Chelsea have some great young central midfielders at the club too, in Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah. Both may be able to hold down their own rotation spot next year for Chelsea. Chelsea also have Cesc Fàbregas in midfield, who is a great backup to have. Fàbregas is still a world class midfielder, and has shown his quality at some points during this season. However, Chelsea may want to bring in another rotation midfielder. Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig in Germany could be the player to come in and maybe replace Matić who is 28 years old. Keïta is a workhorse similar to Kanté, but offers a little more creativity in midfield. Keïta has contributed seven assists this season for Leipzig, and could be a potentially unstoppable midfield paring with Kanté.
Eden Hazard and Pedro have been the starting wingers for the majority of the season for Chelsea, while Willian has come off the bench to replace Pedro from time to time this season. Hazard, however, does not really have a backup on the left wing. Charly Musonda is at the club already though, as he just returned from loan at Real Betis in January. Musonda, who is 20, looks to have a bright future ahead of him, and could have a great mentor to learn from in Eden Hazard. Chelsea also have Juan Cuadrado who will return from loan in the summer from Juventus. Cuadrado is known as a right winger, but can also play on the left.
The future of Diego Costa at Chelsea looked a little uncertain a few weeks ago when speculation of a move to China arose. Costa was benched by Antonio Conte for a game, and things looked grim for the blues as it looked like they might lose their key striker. However, the rumors seemed to have disappeared and Costa looks like he will stay another season with Chelsea and try to retain their title next season. Chelsea also have Michy Batshuayi, who has seen very little playing time this season. Batshuayi is still only 23 years old, and still has time to grow as a striker, and into Conte’s tactics.
Overall Chelsea don’t need any help to their starting eleven, which has been very strong this year. However, they need to improve their depth, so they can insure if they have injuries, or players just need a rest, that they have a better chance of winning the league again next season.