Mauricio Pochettino is expected to be announced as our new manager this week when he comes to London to put pen to paper.
So it’s finally time to really start figuring out what setup and starting Xl will rely on the most as we look forward to the start of our reign under Poch.
As we know, his preferred starting formation is 4-2-3-1, which I think suits a lot of our players we already have. But as always, Poch will have a hard time choosing Chelsea Xl next season.
It’s great to have solid options for each position and we know the roster will be downsized so that will help but he will still have some big decisions to make each week and I have one to make right now!
I’ve been struggling and banging my head trying to come up with my preferred starting Xl under Poch, and here’s what I came up with. Some picks are easy for me, but others are very difficult.
The most difficult choice is the left central defender. I love Benoit Badiashile and I think it will become world class. But for me, Colwill is ahead of him because of his progressive game and long vision of the ball. There isn’t much between the two at all and of course there will be plenty of matches for both to get game time.
The goalkeeper is up for debate but I am so adamant that we need leaders and experience added to our backbone. Although Declan Rice may be becoming more and more unrealistic by the day, it is far from over and there is a chance Chelsea will still be fighting for him. My backup picks for Rice would be Manuel Ugarte first, then Moises Caicedo, then Romeo Lavia.
If Mason Mount stays, which can still happen, even if I’m not too optimistic right now, I’d actually start him from the right instead of Madueke, who is an unreal player but still raw in the last period and needs to develop a bit more. Góra pod Poch on this side of the pitch could really develop.
The striker position is the one that made me really give it my all because I’m still undecided about it. I would like Victor Osimhen but it still doesn’t seem realistic to me and besides I don’t want to spend over £100m on a striker now when we have to invest in a defensive midfielder.
The rest of the targets we were heavily linked to don’t excite me too much right now, and Ivan Toney will probably get a long ban. I’m also not convinced about Lautaro Martinez, I don’t think he is the striker with the profile we need.
For that reason, I think I’d try to sign Toney and use Armando Broja until the end of his ban, depending on how long that would be of course. Nor am I entirely opposed to using Romelu Lukaku this season in certain circumstances, until we can sign another, more attainable striker next summer. But again with this, I’m still not convinced. But I value Broja a lot and I know it would be seen as risky but honestly I would even consider signing a striker like Alexander Mitrovic this summer to come in and compete with Broja until next summer or until we can get another striker .
I think we need to sign the perfect striker, we need an elite nine, so it’s important that we get it right. If we don’t get it right this season, or we want to wait it out and look at someone like Evan Ferguson or Rasmus Hojlund next summer, or sign Toney and wait for his suspension, then I’d love to look at contingency plans. like Broja, Lukaku or Mitrovic at the moment.
As you can see, there are still a lot of variables and it’s hard to decide.