As we enter another international break, Chelsea’s board will be busy organising plans for potential January transfer activity.
The Blues have had a near-perfect start to the season, currently going strong in every competition. Thomas Tuchel’s side are riding high in the Premier League despite their minor setback before the international break against Burnley.
Their 26 points from a possible 33 – in a start that was deemed one of the hardest by most compared to other teams’ schedules – means that the European Champions are in a strong position with Leicester and Manchester United to come after the international break.
On the continent, the west Londoners’ defence of the European crown is going relatively well, with the Juventus away loss the only worry from what has been fairly straightforward so far for Tuchel’s men, who only really have Massimiliano Allegri’s Italian outfit to worry about.
In the Carabao Cup, the Blues are preparing for their tricky test against Brentford midway through December in the quarter-final of that competition.
And with the Club World Cup coupled with the FA Cup coming up after Christmas, the dream of the quintuple is on for the side from the SW6 as they look to add some more illustrious silverware to the Champions League title triumph of last season.
However, to do that and to continue the serial winning nature of the club, Roman Abramovich may have to free up some funds for the upcoming mid-season transfer window.
Tuchel has already admitted that his current cohort may already be suffering from fatigue which may see him dip into the market to add more depth.
“A little bit (of fatigue),” he said ahead of the Burnley draw. “At the same time, we are happy to play every three days. We are able to give one day off for mental recovery.
“We had two training sessions together. We meet again later for dinner and sleepover in a hotel to use the time properly and take care about our time when we rest, to be ready to play sharp again tomorrow.”
The likes of Declan Rice and Jules Kounde are two targets from the summer’s transfer window that could still be prised away from their various clubs if the appetite was there from Marina Granovskaia.
On the former of the duo, football.london understands that West Ham have never received a bid for Rice and would not welcome one. The midfielder is understood to be happy at the club and on a long-term deal that does not expire until 2024, with the club holding an option to extend for a further 12 months.
For Kounde, it’s currently unknown whether the club will go back in for the £68million man with Trevoh Chalobah’s emergence forcing Tuchel and co. to re-evaluate their approach for defensive reinforcements come January.
“I think every transfer period you need to evaluate again,” Tuchel replied when asked about fresh Kounde interest. “You cannot say what we wanted in the summer, we do in the winter. And what we want to do in winter, we want to do the next summer. It is not like this.
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“Your opinion changes, players change, you have evolvement in the group, you have an atmosphere that you build, you see who is absolutely reliable and these connections build up and create something special hopefully in the group.
“So you cannot say what we tried in the summer did not happen so we will try again for sure in the winter. Sometimes it is like this. If we see the same need, but clearly, Trevoh is now here with us and he deserves to be here with us. It had nothing to do with if we can sign another central defender or not. But he stepped up.”
Defensive reinforcements may be more prevalent at the end of the 2021/22 campaign if Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s futures are still left up in the air.
football.london understands that the former of the pair is looking more likely to leave at this moment out of the two but if this were to happen, it would be in the summer when their respective contracts potentially aren’t renewed.
Aside from the defensive and midfield positions, reports have suggested that Tuchel would like to seek out another striking option to play second fiddle behind club-record signing Lukaku.
Unsurprisingly, seeing the likes of Luka Jovic and Victor Osimhen being linked to a Stamford Bridge switch could provide the perfect tonic upfront for the current Premier League leaders.
In a hypothetical world, if the west London outfit were to sign Rice, Kounde and one of the strikers, what shirt numbers would be available to them?
Well, here’s the current squad numbers list for the whole Chelsea squad for the current 2021/22 campaign;
Kepa Arrizabalaga- 1, Antonio Rudiger- 2, Marcos Alonso- 3, Andreas Christensen- 4, Jorginho- 5, Thiago Silva- 6, N’Golo Kante- 7, Mateo Kovacic- 8, Romelu Lukaku- 9, Christian Pulisic- 10, Timo Werner- 11, Ruben Loftus-Cheek- 12, Marcus Bettinelli- 13, Trevoh Chalobah- 14, Edouard Mendy- 16, Mason Mount- 19, Callum Hudson-Odoi- 20, Ben Chilwell- 21, Hakim Ziyech- 22, Reece James- 24, Tino Anjorin (loan)- 27, Cesar Azpilicueta- 28, Kai Havertz- 29, Emerson Palmieri (loan)- 33, Lucas Bergstrom- 36, Ethan Ampadu (loan)- 44.
Numbers available to the transfer targets listed above;
15, 17, 18, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50+.
Current shirt numbers that the listed Chelsea targets occupy and their current clubs?
Declan Rice (West Ham) – 41
Jules Kounde (Sevilla) – 23
Victor Osimhen (Napoli) – 9
Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) – 16
Source by Football London