Analysis, insight and opinion on what Chelsea to do in the transfer market this summer…
Which positions are Chelsea targeting in the summer transfer window? What has Thomas Tuchel said? And what do the stats say?
Which positions are Chelsea targeting?
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol writes: “Chelsea need to sign a striker this summer to address their problems up front. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have taken time to adapt to the Premier League and in any case they are not the kind of forwards Chelsea need to convert all the chances they have been creating.
“The three forwards they are most interested in signing are Erling Haaland, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane.
“Considering the bad blood between Chelsea and Tottenham it is difficult to see how Kane could end up at Chelsea. In 2019 Chelsea would not even let Michy Batshuayi join Spurs on loan, so it is highly unlikely Daniel Levy would sell Kane to Chelsea.
“Of course Chelsea have the money to be able to afford Kane even if he costs £150m and they will have no problem raising the necessary funds to sign Haaland or Lukaku. As was demonstrated last summer Roman Abramovich has spotted an opportunity in the market to buy some of the world’s best players while Chelsea’s traditional transfer rivals are struggling with the financial impact of the pandemic.
“Last summer Chelsea focused on signing young players who had the potential to become world-class talents and it would be no surprise to see them go all out to try and convince Borussia Dortmund to sell Haaland. If that move does not happen then Lukaku becomes a real option. Chelsea almost signed him in 2017 before made Lukaku’s last-minute decision to join Manchester United and Jose Mourinho famously sold him to Everton in 2014 during his second spell as Chelsea manager.
“Chelsea will also need to sign a back-up goalkeeper with question marks over the future of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero and decisions will have to made about on-loan players such as Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fikayo Tomori.”
What do the stats say about Chelsea?
The obvious place to start when analysing Chelsea’s campaign has to revolve around the impact of the mid-season manager change. Frank Lampard was replaced by Thomas Tuchel in January with the upsurge in results almost immediate. The numbers paint a clear picture that Tuchel has taken Chelsea from a team whose ceiling was finishing in the top four to one that now has genuine ambitions of competing for the Premier League title.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/aGTlm/4/
Only Manchester City have taken more points in the league since Tuchel was appointed on January 26 and the Chelsea boss can boast two wins over the champions; a 1-0 win in the FA Cup semi-final and a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.
The most striking statistic from Chelsea’s season post-Lampard surrounds their defensive work. Just 11 goals conceded in the Premier League is by far the best defensive record of all 20 teams since Tuchel took the job. It’s a statistic backed up by the expected goals against numbers, too. Tuchel’s side are working at an average of just 0.6 expected goals conceded per 90 minutes – a figure that usually is associated with title-winning teams. It showcases their ability at restricting teams to low-quality chances.
What manager Thomas Tuchel has said
Tuchel, speaking exclusively to Sky Sports’ Peter Smith in April, made his feeling clear about where Chelsea need to improve.
“We need more goals and we rely on anybody and we want to trust anybody who is capable of scoring,” he said.
“But you just need to read the numbers, our top scorers have six goals. This is clearly not enough for the demands, the expectations and the targets Chelsea football club has and what we demand.
“I say this without any anger and without being rude to any of the offensive guys, I think they’re very well aware of it. But when we put the goalkeeper in goal for Chelsea we expect him to have a clean sheet. When we let the defenders play, we expect them to produce clean sheets and the best possible outcome straight away. And this is what we expect from the midfielders, we expect passing percentage, we expect the rhythm of the game. And when we put strikers in we expect goals and assists and nothing else.
“This is one of the most challenging clubs in European football, and if the challenge is on you simply need to accept that we didn’t produce the kind of numbers that we expect from our strikers. This explains a little bit the situation in which we are. We don’t struggle to have touches in the opponent’s box, we do not struggle to produce ‘Expected Goals’ but we need to improve on the conversion, this is clear.”
What should Chelsea do this summer?
Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones: “Tuchel is not far away from completing the jigsaw puzzle at Chelsea – a phenomenal feat considering how much of an identity they lacked under Frank Lampard. Tuchel wants his team to play with control. This restricts the opposition from putting his three-man defence under too much pressure. His style does not create barnstorming matches where Chelsea are going to create a high number of chances – this is why the final piece of his puzzle, signing a top-class centre-forward, is absolutely critical this summer.
“If he gets his man – Haaland or Kane would do just nicely – then Chelsea are set for a title challenge.”