The January sales have started and Marizio Sarri has some shopping to do.
With at least 4 players looking certain to leave Stamford Bridge and two maybes, Sarri needs to hit the shops.
Chelsea have been blessed in the goalkeeping department for the last 15 years. From world class ‘keepers Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois, we’ve found another potential world class stopper in Kepa Arrizabalaga. This is one position that we don’t need to worry about.
If the rumours are true, and Gary Cahill does join Arsenal (possibly before this piece is published) then you would imagine having just 3 established centre backs isn’t going to be enough.
Perhaps Sarri sees Ethan Ampadu as Cahill’s replacement, but there’s also the future of David Luiz (now 32) that we need to think about.
Following the recent racial abuse of Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, there may be an opportunity to get a deal done for a long term target.
Another position in the back four that we may possibly need some recruitment is at right back. Victor Moses is certainly on his way out and Davide Zappacosta is rumoured to be on his way out and some decent back up to Azpilicueta is needed.
Palace full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has impressed this season and put in an assured display against Eden Hazard in our last match of 2018.
A deal that sees him join in the summer but stay at Palace on loan may be the deal of the season.
This is going to be the toughest task for Sarri as finding another player to replace Cesc Fabregas.
Sarri has publicly stated that only Fabregas and Jorginho are capable of playing in that midfield role that is so vital to Sarri’s system.
And relying on just Jorginho to fill that role for the rest of the season is too risky due to the sheer number of games and the risk of fatigue and injury.
Danny Drinkwater hasn’t been able to prove his worth to Sarri and he also will join Fabregas through the exit door, so Sarri really needs a replacement.
Barcelona man Denis Suarez has been linked with a move to the Premier League recently and comes with a relativity inexpensive price tag.
This may not be an issue that Sarri tries to solve in January. Pedro and Willian are both over 30 now, Eden Hazard may move to Real Madrid and Calum Hudson-Odoi is the subject of a £20million bid from German giants Bayern Munich.
If we can keep Hudson-Odoi and Eden Hazard, they are good enough to be first choice. But perhaps this is one headache Sarri can resolve this summer.
Chelsea’s biggest problem this season has been a lack of goals. Creating chances has been easy but converting those chances has cost Chelsea dearly.
Even if Alvaro Morata stays at Stamford Bridge, a recent injury to Oliver Giroud means Chelsea are still light upfront.
AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuaín could be a goal scoring striker that Sarri’s system so desperately needs.
The rumour mill has been strong recently that the Argentinian is on his way to the Premier League and his recent goal celebration looked more like a goodbye.
Another striker that may be easier to sign is Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson.
Despite suffering two bad injuries, Wilson has proven that he’s a Premier League striker and has an impressive record against the top 6.
Outgoing- Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas, Victor Moses, Danny Drinkwater.
Incoming- Denis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuaín.