Chelsea will be on a mission to close the gap between themselves and the current Premier League leaders, Manchester City and Liverpool next season. Whilst the points difference on the table looks to be quite a massive jump between the clubs, the Blues are confident that they can make the move and become champions of England once more.
They have the manager, they now have a new owner, and all that is missing is the right players – reinforcements in the transfer window. Ousmane Dembele has been considered as the right fit to help Chelsea on their quest for glory next season, on more than one occasion. The Frenchman is quite the saucy winger, however, will he be enough considering what’s happening at the Etihad Stadium? Pep Guardiola’s side are one step closer to signing Erling Haaland, so if Chelsea are to close the gap, they may need to think outside of the box. Dembele is a start, but to what extent does this potential signing bridge the gap?
The Haaland news does not come as a surprise. You could see this coming from a mile away, and I am sure that Chelsea’s hierarchy would have predicted this exact outcome. Haaland is arguably one of the world’s most prolific strikers today. The 21-year-old is compared to the likes of Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski for a reason. With 28 goals in 29 matches, just imagine the numbers that he could reach in a Manchester City shirt.
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If Chelsea are to really close the gap on the Cityzens, they will have to conjure up a team that will be able to match their potential output. Ousmane Dembele has been on Thomas Tuchel’s radar since the turn of the year. His contract with Barcelona is set to run out this summer, and according to reports, the Frenchman does not want to re-sign. He is, however, interested in seeing where Chelsea stand in the next couple of weeks as the Blues await formal confirmation of their new owner.
As talented as Dembele is, he is far from the ‘wow-factor’ signing that could take Chelsea to the top. My judgment is incredibly harsh but it draws from his reputation during his time at Barcelona. His attitude and tardiness have been under scrutiny since his very first year with the Catalans back in 2017. Prior to his move to Spain, he had played under Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund. The pair had a great relationship. When it was announced that Tuchel would be leaving Dortmund in 2017, the forward responded by saying: “I’m disappointed because he is a coach who trusted me a lot. He was always there for me and brought me on a lot. He is a very good coach with whom I had a great time.”
In his last season with Tuchel, Dembele only managed to register 10 goals in 49 games, however, he also registered 12 assists. For a 20-year-old at the time, this didn’t seem so bad. To be quite honest, you cannot judge a player like Dembele based on his goals. Like Eden Hazard, It’s just not his game. He prefers to be a creative outlet. Chelsea currently create a lot of chances, but not many clear cut ones. The Frenchman could help in this aspect. He is extremely unpredictable and that’s what makes him such a great player.
There are days when Chelsea fans would sit and just admire the footwork of Eden Hazard. The same can happen with Dembele. He gifts football fans with an array of shoulder drops, dribbles, and vicious take-ons. Just something different to what we see with the array of attackers on the current roster. His strong shooting technique with both feet makes him every defender’s worst nightmare.
Manchester City have a number of unpredictable attackers – Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan being among them and all, you will notice, at Manchester City. A Dembele addition will close the gap in that aspect but leaves room to question the man who will be playing as that number nine. City will have Haaland, and Chelsea still may not have an answer for that.
The best players in the world all have humble beginnings. Work their way up to the top and work twice as hard to remain there. Thomas Tuchel is a coach that can help his players reach new heights. He helped in Dembele’s case and could possibly bring out the best in him going forward. Providing that the Frenchman stays fit, he will probably be able to start bridging the gap between the Blues and City and Liverpool. But until the more pressing issues of the number 9 is solved, the gap has increased for now.
Source by Football London