Chelsea’s summer shake-up

What’s going to happen at Chelsea over the summer months is anyone’s guess at this stage.

The Stamford Bridge club is in a very strange situation. Despite what appeared to be a divide between boss Maurizio Sarri and the players for much of the season, they managed to secure Champions League football for the 2019/20 campaign.

Chelsea also reached the League Cup final, losing on penalties to Manchester City, and they have a Europa League final to look forward to against London rivals Arsenal at the end of May, where sites like rate them as favourites.

For many looking in, it probably appears that Chelsea Football Club is running along smoothly.

Yet, thanks mainly to the atmosphere created under Roman Abramovich’s ownership since 2004, Chelsea managers can never quite feel that they’ve done enough. And no, this isn’t a case of keeping these coaches on their toes – it’s an environment that doesn’t encourage any feeling of security, and as a result, the managers don’t get the time to impose their footballing ethos on the team and young players don’t get developed under their tutorship.

Potential young stars get stockpiled at Chelsea and then sent out on loan because the manager can’t risk using them in the short time they are likely to be given to impress Abramovich and co.

Sarri currently has over 40 Chelsea players out on loan around the UK and Europe. The former Napoli manager, if he’s still in charge at Stamford Bridge, may well have to utilise those returning from loan over the next year.

Chelsea has been banned from any incoming transfers for the next two windows, meaning they will not be able to bring in any new faces again until the summer of 2020.

In January, they did manage to sign the USA and Borussia Dortmund winger, Christian Pulisic. He will join the club officially in June.

Sarri will need more than Pulisic for next season, though. With Eden Hazard rumoured by sports betting australia to be on his way to Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuain returning to Juventus at the end of his loan in June, Chelsea needs some fresh faces around the club.

An ever-ageing frontline of Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud, will need the added backup of Pulisic and players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi. But there is also plenty of talent returning to Stamford Bridge from loans this summer.

Players like Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham will be expecting a fair crack of the whip at Chelsea next season.

Abraham had a fantastic campaign with Aston Villa and he still has the Championship play-off final against Derby County to look forward to.

Batshuayi gave some glimpses of what he’s capable of after moving on loan to Crystal Palace in January. The Premier League experience earned at Selhurst Park is sure to serve Batshuayi well. Whether he gets the chance to use it at Chelsea next season is unclear.

So, with many returning players and possibly some huge outgoings such as Eden Hazard and Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea is once again in a state of flux.

There have been rumours in the last year or so that Abramovich’s time at the club could be coming to an end. It could be a blessing in disguise for The Blues.

Only then will any kind of certainty and stability return to Stamford Bridge.

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