Being a regular user of Twitter, I often notice the difference in opinions between Chelsea supporters regarding certain players not being good enough, and areas we should be improving on.
I have typed up my beliefs on what I feel the club needs in order to improve the current squad, whether it be in January or the summer.
I’ll start at the back and work my way up. It goes without saying, but Thibaut Courtois is on top of his game right now and one of the best around. I also believe that the defence are generally in good shape despite conceding too many goals this season. But defending is a team task, not just the back line.
I think our best three/four centre backs do not need improving. Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and David Luiz/Antonio Rudiger are more than good enough to warrant a no improvement needed in that area. We also have Kurt Zouma who is playing well on loan this season at Stoke. I’d not be adverse to another ball playing centre back like Virgil van Dijk arriving, however I feel that would only hinder the chances of Christensen and Rudiger, who are both impressing me and proving they are good enough.
The midfield is also looking good now they’re all back fit. We are yet to see the best of Tiemoue Bakayoko and I genuinely feel we have a world beater there. Cesc Fabregas will excel in an advanced midfield role in a three, whilst Danny Drinkwater has already impressed me as a more than competent back up in that area.
If anything I believe we could use one more versatile creative type to give Fabregas some competition, although I also believe Eden Hazard could do that job IF we decided to bring in another world class striker to play alongside Alvaro Morata. But I’m also an advocate for youth, so I believe waiting until the summer and bringing Ruben Loftus-Cheek back for that role would warrant no further improvements there.
The main role I genuinely believe that we should go all out and invest in a top talent in, is another wide player like Eden Hazard. At the moment we heavily rely on his ability to create and make things happen. I’d love to see a right sided version with similar flair, skill and creativity to make things happen, and I believe this is an area we should be spending out on to bring in world class. Pedro is excellent and versatile so I’d definitely use him rotating in the squad, but I feel Willian’s time at the club is coming to an end. Conte doesn’t rate him enough to start him anymore and his heart just doesn’t seem in it, perhaps contemplating a change of clubs before he gets too old. I will say though, he has often been excellent for us, but is just not consistent.
The other area I want to see us spend out on is left wing back. Marcos Alonso is a player who I rate, but I don’t feel he quite offers enough in that role to warrant being the main guy there. I’d bring in an Alex Sandro type, but keep Alonso as the competition as he is an excellent talent. Meanwhile, in Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta I feel we have enough on the right side to compete for now, but it depends alot on the latters progress during this season.
Finally, up top I don’t think we can bring in a high profile striker unless we play two up top as previously mentioned, due to the fact that Morata thrives on being the main man up there. Yes we play a lot of games, but if he isn’t the first striker on the teamsheet, I believe his confidence will dip and he won’t be the player he seems to be now. Many are calling for the likes of Andrea Belotti, but unless we go with playing two up front, then that won’t happen. He won’t join unless he was main man, or part of a regular two, which I don’t believe Conte will use.
But we do need to thicken it out up there, as like many I’m unsure about Michy Batshuayi being good enough overall. Scores goals, but his overall play and contribution is questionable. Again though, unless he begs for a loan in January, I say wait on Tammy Abraham and give him that role next season.
So to sum up, I would spend big on a right winger, maybe a striker depending on the formation Conte has in mind to play predominantly, another creative type midfielder to compete with Fabregas, and I’d look at the left wing back area.
This won’t necessarily be done in January, it could be the summer, but this is just my opinion on what I would like to see happen.
Simon Phillips @SiPhillipsCFC