Chelsea set to get rid of seven players worth almost £270m as Boehly demolishes old Abramovich policy
Todd Boehly has decided that Chelsea will overhaul their squad to turn around their fortunes, rather than sack Graham Potter – which has now caused seven stars to be fighting for their futures at Stamford Bridge.
Things are not looking good for Chelsea at the moment. They have suffered three defeats in a row, in a spell which has included their elimination from the FA Cup. Currently 10th in the table, they are already 10 points off the Champions League places.
Consequently, there has been growing pressure on head coach Graham Potter, despite him only taking the reins in September.
However, a report from the Daily Telegraph has revealed that Boehly is willing to stick by Potter. Instead, the owner is prepared to sever ties with several members of their current squad.
The strategy is different to how Chelsea operated under Roman Abramovich, who often sided with his players and was therefore ruthless with managers.
Boehly, though, wants to end player power at Stamford Bridge. In turn, the report has named seven players who are unlikely to outlast Potter at the club.
Per the Telegraph, Chelsea are considering the futures of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Between them, they cost the club almost £27omillion to sign (including add-ons). But very few of them have met the lofty expectations set for them. It is likely they are less valuable now.
Therefore, Chelsea are now ready to move some of them on, potentially even in January. For example, they have been open to offers for Ziyech this month, although other injuries may prompt them to keep him until the summer.
But if Chelsea end up converting Joao Felix’s loan arrival from Atletico Madrid into a permanent deal, the likes of Ziyech, Pulisic and Havertz – who cost £33million, £58million and £71million respectively – might not have the prominence they expect.
Uncertain futures for experienced stars
The other four players in question are all past the age of 30. Therefore, they might not represent the long-term future of the club.
Jorginho is out of contract at the end of the season. As things stand, Chelsea seem willing to let him leave for free, despite paying up to £57million to sign him in 2018.
Club captain Azpilicueta, meanwhile, is out of contract in 2024. He has certainly been the most successful of these seven players at Chelsea since joining for £7million in 2012, but all good things must come to an end. The report claims that the Blues could now consider any interest in the Spaniard.
Finally, there could be embarrassing turnarounds for Koulibaly and Aubameyang. Both only arrived at the club this summer, from Napoli and Barcelona respectively for £33million and £10million.
But Koulibaly has struggled to replicate the dominant form he showed in Serie A. As for Aubameyang, he joined to link up with his former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel – who lost his job a few days later.
Thus, Chelsea could cut their losses, with Koulibaly tipped to return to Italy and Aubameyang linked with a move back to Spain.
Boehly overseeing Chelsea evolution
Since Boehly took charge, Chelsea have been willing to spend big. Therefore, they shouldn’t have too many problems replacing anyone who leaves.
Perhaps the process is already underway to an extent. After all, they have been investing in young talents for the future.
In terms of replacing attacking midfielders like Ziyech, Pulisic and Havertz, Chelsea could not only keep Felix on a permanent basis, but also sign Christopher Nkunku and Noni Madueke.
In midfield, they are still keeping tabs on Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo as potential successors to Jorginho.
Defensively, they have already added Benoit Badiashile to their squad this month (and Wesley Fofana back in the summer). It should soften the blow of any future exit for Koulibaly or Azpilicueta.
And up front, Marcus Thuram is firmly on their radar as someone who could take over from Aubameyang. They also brought in David Datro Fofana earlier this month.
Hence, there is a changing of the guard at Chelsea. Their players will have to prove they deserve their place in the squad over the coming weeks and months.
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