Mauricio Pochettinho handed Chelsea challenge thanks to Todd Boehly’s £234m transfer deals
When Todd Boehly took over Chelsea Football Club 12 months ago, his main intention was clear: take the Blues back to the very top of the footballing ladder. But the American’s first year as Chelsea co-owner has been far from ideal. Under his ownership, the club have already sacked two permanent head coaches in Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter.
They are now – once again – looking to start a new chapter in the club’s history with the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino understood to be very close . Pochettino has an unthinkable amount to do when he is appointed head coach, with the Argentine set to take over at the end of the current season, which has three games left for Chelsea.
This summer transfer window coming up is set to be like no other for the club as they look to offload a whole host of players who are not part of their plans anymore. As well as the numerous outgoings, there are still expected to be some incomings at Stamford Bridge, albeit not as many as the last two transfer windows have brought.
But with almost £600million spent on signings in the previous two windows, Chelsea more or less have the shell of their ideal squad, with some young players now on their books with sky- high potential. One of the areas in the Chelsea squad with the most depth is their front-line.
The double signing of Noni Madueke (£35m) and Mykhailo Mudryk (deal that could eventually rise to £89m) in January means they now have five out-and-out wingers to choose from. Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are both options for Frank Lampard between now and the end of the season but the Chelsea duo look likely to leave the club in the summer transfer window.
Ziyech came really close to joining Paris Saint-Germain in January but a move collapsed at the final stage, while Pulisic is a wanted man and because of his lack of game time this season, he will be open to leaving Stamford Bridge.
Raheem Sterling, who was signed by Chelsea last summer in a deal believed to be around £55m from Manchester City, is another option for Pochettino when he arrives . Christopher Nkunku is also expected to be at Chelsea next season with the RB Leipzig attacker agreeing a deal with the Blues earlier in the campaign to arrive in the summer for a fee of around £53m.
Pochettino faces big dilemma Chelsea have an extremely big squad at the moment and even after a number of outgoings in the summer, there will still be some big selection dilemmas for Pochettino. Although they are likely to be welcome ones – especially in the attacking area, where the Blues have an abundance of talent at their disposal.
The club will be hoping their big-money investment in Mudryk will begin to pay off next season under Pochettino after what has been a slow start to life in England for the Ukrainian. The 22-year-old was brought in over the January transfer window with huge expectations on his shoulders after strong interest from Arsenal as well, but he has started eight of his 15 appearances in all competitions thus far for his new club.
Pochettino is well renowned for being a great man-manager and Chelsea supporters will be hoping the Argentine works closely with Mudryk so we really get to see his undeniable talent next season. It’s similar with the likes of Sterling and Madueke as well, who have both shown glimpses of their ability so far in a Chelsea shirt but perhaps haven’t been as consistent as what is expected from them.
A lot of it is down to Chelsea’s clear lack of system or brand at the moment as well, something that is to be expected when they have an interim boss in Lampard in charge. A brand of football is something Pochettino will be eager to get across as soon as possible – although these sorts of things do tend to take time.
Pochettino will be hoping to do something Potter couldn’t do in his time as Chelsea head coach and that’s get the best out of the attacking players available to him. With the arrival of Nkunku , the Argentine will be boosted by adding another talented player to the club’s ranks but to maximise his effectiveness and that of everyone else in the squad is set to be a real challenge.