Raheem Sterling (att) Manchester City; Kalidou Koulibaly (def) Napoli; Conor Gallagher (mid) Crystal Palace – end of loan; Michy Batshuayi (att) Besiktas – end of loan; Armando Broja (att) Southampton – end of loan; Ethan Ampadu (def) Venezia – end of loan; Matt Miazga (def) Alaves – end of loan; Emerson (def) Lyon – end of loan; Carney Chukwuemeka (mid) Aston Villa
Romelu Lukaku (att) Inter – on loan; Antonio Rüdiger (def) – released; Jake Clarke-Salter (def) – released; Andreas Christensen (def) – released; Charly Musonda Jr. (mid) – released; Danny Drinkwater (mid) – released; Tino Anjorin (mid) Huddersfield – on loan; Saul Niguez (mid) Atletico Madrid – end of loan
Coming into the last Premier League season as Champions League winners, Chelsea failed to live up to expectations and didn’t pose real threat to the Man City-Liverpool title duopoly. The Blues faced ownership issues due to sanctions imposed on former owner Roman Abramovich, but the team comfortably secured the third spot in a season where they lost on penalties to Liverpool in the two cup finals.
Romelu Lukaku didn’t manage to adapt to Thomas Tuchel’s system and asked to depart on loan to Inter, while starting centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen moved to Spain on free transfers. Chelsea signed Napoli’s experienced defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling to fill in the voids in attack and defence, while several loanees have returned to the team until Chelsea make decisions on their futures.
The departures of Rudiger and Christensen, as well as the arrival of Koulibaly could mean that Tuchel could opt for a back-four instead of his favoured back-three next season. Meanwhile, uncertainty is over at the Blues, as new owners took over before summer.
Chelsea have one of the strongest attacking lines in Europe and Sterling’s arrival will offer them an extra alternative as the former Manchester City forward is coming to prove that he deserves to be an undisputed starter in a top Premier League side.
Their defence could potentially be a weakness following the two important departures, as it remains to be seen whether 37-year-old Thiago Silva could deliver in a potential back-four at his age.
Chelsea will aim for the Premier League title after a season where they only managed to win the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. Finishing outside the top four would be considered a disaster.