Date: 31st July 2017 at 4:28pm
Written by:

That our squad depth has been decimated is not really a subject for argument among objective observers. Some may argue that in the meantime our starting 11 quality has improved while others would say it has remained static and yet others would argue vociferously that it has in fact declined.

I wont belabor the latter point. What I propose here is a means for our team to build a squad with sufficient depth and quality with adequate numbers to give Antonio Conte a fighting chance in the upcoming season. For those who know me and the way I like to approach these sorts of issues you will see that I don`t propose any pie in the sky ideas here. I am a realist. I am not proposing a squad ala Bayern, Real, Barca etc in depth and quality because that is not going to happen no matter how much fans may clamor for it. What I suggest here is feasible and doable within the 30 days left in the transfer window and considering that unlike in time past money is an object and an issue for Chelsea FC..we don`t have limitless resources. As you will notice this proposal will also need Conte to get over his “trust issues” and actually be daring enough to gamble on some younger players because by now he needs to realize the board and Roman are not going to buy him all the reinforcements he needs and wants. It is simply not going to happen. He needs to come to that realization and be willing to work with what he has available on hand. Does it have inherent risk? Absolutely..there is no risk free venture that is worth anything..nothing ventured, nothing gained.

So here goes..Do let me know what you think;

Goal keepers; thank fully we are set here..no more signings needed though I would have preferred our third goalie to have been an home grown talent like Jamal Blackman. We all know that baring absolute disaster the third line goalie will barely see any game time anyway and so to waste a foreign player slot on this seems to be rather wasteful in my view.

Center backs; thankfully we are sorted here with depth and quality; 5 players for 3 starting slots and Zouma out on loan with a likelihood of return next year when Cahill and/or David Luiz may be starting down the path to retirement.

Wingbacks/full backs; This is where there is a real crisis and there is no way around this. Maria, Emenalo and co will have to earn their pay here. Before Sept 1 they must sign two WBs..one LWB and one RWB because if there is one thing the preseason has shown clearly it is that neither Moses nor Alonzo have the durability nor quality to be able to play all the games we will be facing this season. BTW, no I don`t mean Alex Sandro..he is not leaving Juve..forget that . They need to get decent players who can serve as back ups the same way we found both Moses and Alonzo. I wont bother suggesting options..that is why they are paid their huge salaries..they need to go out and get these two players and get them asap.

Central mid field; We need one more defensive mid and I would suggest that we have the solution already there; Mario Pasalic..this guy is just 22 and has been a starter the last 3 yrs in La Liga ( with Elche), Ligue A (with Monaco when he kept Bakayoko on the subs list) and Serie A ( with AC Milan). I am yet to see any objective evidence to show how or why Renato Sanches who has been noised so much offers any thing superior to this lad. Why spend money to develop Bayern`s talent for them when we can do that with one of ours? I would also suggest retaining Lewis Baker as the creative CM back up to Fab. That way we end up with 5 central mids and suddenly we have depth and options rather than a thread bare 3 man midfield.

Right wing forwards; already sorted.. Pedro and Willian. They both have their limitations but we are not getting any upgrades on any of these guys this late in the transfer window and it is obvious our board seems to lack the dexterity nor monetary resources anyways so lets not belabor the point.

Left wing forwards; Hazard is presently out rehabbing from injury. I would suggest retaining both Boga and Musonda to provide options there. By January we can decide who is the better of the two and retain that person to be Hazard`s back up while sending the other on a half season loan.

Strikers; We have Bats and Moratta but lets not kid ourselves we need a third type of striker. To underline how lacking we are in aerial presence in our strike force we had I think 11-12 corners in the match against Inter. I don`t remember one in which an attacking player had a header on goal. Right now based on merit Bats should be our starting striker in one striker formations but his limitations are obvious. There is a reason Conte said what he said in the press regarding Moratta needing to improve his fitness and his play..he has a long way to go before being anywhere close to Costa and to take some of the pressure of him we need someone who has the experience, who knows the BPL and brings the dimension of actually being able to play back to goal with competence, adequate hold up play and a real aerial threat. All these point for me to one person..our board need to go all out and get Fernando LLorente Torres from Swansea and while they are doing that they need to either sell or just release Loic Remy immediately. The guy is well past his sell by date and really brings nothing to the team. We cannot have a player on our books taking a foreign player slot who is so injury prone and really brings nothing to the table to add to the team. His length of stay already mirrors the excessive time Marko Marin spent with us. The board need to find a buyer even for peanuts asap and get this done.

Utility player(s); Every team needs 1-2 players capable of playing multiple positions ; I am not very sure here..maybe Cristian Cuevas or Fikayo Tomori may serve this for us but the person I would really like us to get to fill this spot would be Alex Ox Chamberlain. Here I think it may be wise to bid our time. We should probably wait till some other team ( I heard Stoke has expressed some interest) gets the Gunners to set a price then we swoop in and offer a little more both in transfer fees and personal wages. I really like the guys versatility (can play 3-4 different positions), that he is fast, still young ( and thus teachable), a hard worker and is association trained.

So there you have it..a feasible means to build a decent squad with depth at each position that will require us to only sign an additional 3-4 players and none of them at break bank prices.
Do let me know your thoughts. KTBFFH.

 
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