Christopher Nkunku (att) RB Leipzig; Nicolas Jackson (att) Villarreal; Ângelo Gabriel (att) Santos; Diego Moreira (mid) Benfica; Andrey Santos (mid) Vasco – end of loan; Malo Gusto (def) Lyon – end of loan; Callum Hudson-Odoi (mid) Bayer Leverkusen – end of loan; Romelu Lukaku (att) Inter – end of loan; Levi Colwill (def) Brighton – end of loan; Lesley Ugochukwu (mid) Rennes; Axel Disasi (def) Monaco; Robert Sanchez (gk) Brighton; Ian Maatsen (def) Burnley - end of loan
Kai Havertz (r) (mid) Arsenal; Mason Mount (sp) (mid) Manchester United; Mateo Kovacic (r) (mid) Manchester City; Kalidou Koulibaly (r) (def) Al-Hilal; Christian Pulisic (sp) (att) AC Milan; Edouard Mendy (sp) (gk) Al-Ahli; Ruben Loftus-Cheek (sp) (mid) AC Milan; Ethan Ampadu (def) Leeds; César Azpilicueta (sp) (def) released; Abdul Rahman Baba (def) released; N'Golo Kanté (k) Ittihad; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (att) Marseille; David-Datro Fofana (att) Union Berlin – on loan; Tiemoué Bakayoko (mid) released; João Félix (sp) (att) Atletico Madrid – end of loan; Denis Zakaria (mid) Juventus – end of loan
In what was the worst season in Chelsea’s modern era, the Blues finished in the bottom half for the first time since the 1995/96 Premier League campaign. They did kick off the season with Thomas Tuchel in the dugout, but after a sloppy start they appointed Brighton manager Graham Potter. Yet, Potter didn’t last long, as he failed to help the team bounce back and was dismissed in April, when Frank Lampard made a surprising return. After losing eight of his 11 games in charge, Lampard was also sacked and Mauricio Pochettino has been brought in to help Chelsea turn the page.
Pochettino’s arrival was followed by a massive exodus at Chelsea, as the club finally decided to make space in their overcrowded squad by offloading numerous players including starters Kai Havertz, Kalidou Koulibaly, N'Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic. Meanwhile, they brought in talented forwards Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson and Ângelo Gabriel, as well as France defender Axel Disasi in Pochettino’s bid to rejuvenate his roster.
This means that the Argentine coach is expected to have a youthful squad and build from scratch ahead of next season. Kepa will be undisputed starter in goal after Edouard Mendy’s departure to Saudi Arabia, while Enzo Fernandez is expected to be a key cog in midfield, with Thiago Silva leading at the back.
Chelsea have strength in attack, with Nkunku being the star signing in a frontline that already boasts Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk, as well as prodigious forward Jackson. Having scored just 38 goals in 38 games last season, the Blues are expected to bounce back in the final third.
Team cohesion is a question for Pochettino, as several players departed the club, while youngsters will be called to step up. Chelsea’s main issue last season was that their managers struggled to manage a large squad, but Pochettino may need time to make the team click.
After missing out on European football, Chelsea will aim for a top-four spot again. They should be top-four contenders, as they will have no midweek European football next season.