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£85m goalkeeper, Osimhen starts, new defender - Chelsea dream XI vs Man City with £221m transfers - UTWEETS

£85m goalkeeper, Osimhen starts, new defender – Chelsea dream XI vs Man City with £221m transfers

It is almost one month into the summer transfer window and Chelsea have completed five deals. One of those new signings (Estevao Willian) is set to join next summer. Omari Kellyman is a teenager with two Premier League appearances to his name, and Marc Guiu is also 18...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

Despite the action and intentions, Chelsea are yet to fundamentally better their matchday squad. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall arrives as an established player from the Championship, and is known by Enzo Maresca, but still has a point to prove in the Premier League having been relegated in 2022/23 with Leicester City.

Tosin Adarabioyo is a fine acquisition, especially on a free, but has competition ahead of him at centre-back and does not appear, at least on paper at this stage, to be a first choice when all are fit. And then there is the work not yet done.

Benjamin Sesko did not come in to be the demanded new striker, Michael Olise chose Bayern Munich instead, whilst the search is on at left-back and in goal. It leaves questions for Maresca and the Chelsea recruitment team to answer.

There is still time to operate – almost two months of the window and five weeks left until the domestic season starts – but given the size of the opening day task at home to Manchester City, Maresca won’t be keen to waste time. Given the squad he inherited, there is hope that the foundations in place can form a large part of his starting XI on August 18.

Here, football.london predicts how the team might look come kick-off against the champions in a serious baptism of fire.
Diogo Costa

One of the big question marks over Chelsea is their No.1. Robert Sanchez started last season as the preferred option but injury and form meant that Djordje Petrovic had the gloves from December onwards. Sanchez is more suited to Maresca’s possession-heavy demands with short passes from his goalkeeper but left plenty to be desired when he was called on.

Portugal and Porto shot-stopper Costa has long been linked a move to England and now, with a reported £85million price, Chelsea may well need him more than ever. A change in goal could come this summer and between Costa and Georgi Mamardashvili, there are two elite options.
Malo Gusto

Reece James is suspended for the first game of the season following a red card picked up against Brighton before the close of play in 2023/24. His noble deputy for much of the last 12 months, Gusto, has not proven to be much of a downgrade.

There is little to say about James when he’s fit but it’s now been 18 months, at minimum, since he was close to his best. On his day James is one of the best in the world at right-back and he is likely to start the new season as captain again, but he has doubters to silence.

Gusto has shown himself to be more than capable of filling in and competing for a spot in the team as well. What Maresca does with them in terms of inverting or slotting into a back-three will be interesting. For this team we have him coming into midfield in the 3-2-5 possession shape (see graphic below).
Wesley Fofana

Another who has been plagued by fitness issues, Fofana is possibly Chelsea’s best centre-back when fit. Two years since arriving and the days he has been available have been few and far between. Having not played competitively for such a long time it would be quite an ask for Fofana to start here, but in an ideal world, he’s in.

Between Trevoh Chalobah, Axel Disasi, and Adarabioyo there are plenty of alternatives. Chalobah could be sold though, so perhaps there is an opening-day debut for for Adarabioyo.
Levi Colwill

If Chelsea are stacked with right-sided choices then the same is true on the left. Colwill is a shoo-in to be the best defender at the club when used centrally, but under Maresca he might be shifted around a bit. Given who we have at left-back, it makes more sense for him to be used centrally here.
Riccardo Calafiori

Chelsea are in the mix with Arsenal to sign Bologna’s Calafiori. Why? He is another of the versatile left-sided players who can be a full-back or centre-half. Given the Blues already have Benoit Badiashile (who could still leave) and Colwill, it is somewhat of a surprise to see them in this hunt.

Calafiori, here, is the left-back who plays on the left of a three in possession. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Marc Cucurella and Colwill play these roles, with Cucurella inverting and James on the right of a back three. For £45million, though, Calafiori is in as Chelsea look for new left-footed options.

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Enzo Fernandez

There are 222 million reasons that Fernandez and Moises Caicedo will play together under Maresca. As ball progressors, they are brilliant options, but with a defender coming forward on the ball one of them will have to play further up. Fernandez is most suited to that but did struggle when going into the No.10 spot at stages last year.
Moises Caicedo

With Fernandez pushing on, Caicedo will be part of a heavy build-up structure aiming to play through teams in possession. He was largely impressive last season but will be keen to add more to his game.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Chelsea’s newest signing. The £30million man is known by Maresca which makes him a likely candidate to play plenty, especially early on when the team is still adjusting to his methods. However, Conor Gallagher will also be in contention if he is still around by the time the game is played.

The pair can fulfil similar roles, albeit with Dewsbury-Hall are more natural option going forward than Gallagher. One of them surely starts against City.
Cole Palmer

There is no such uncertainty over Palmer’s spot in the side. He is the man of the moment and the most uncertain thing with him is how he plays with the pressure and expectation now on his shoulders. There are doubts over his positioning, with Palmer a candidate to play as a No.10, but that would take some tactical shifts and attacking signings on the right that don’t seem like a priority currently.
Victor Osimhen

This could easily be Nicolas Jackson. Perhaps it deserves to be Jackson. But Chelsea are so clearly in the mix for a new striker that he is going to be in a battle. Osimhen is maybe not the most likely but the longer the window goes on and neither he, nor Chelsea, have made the move, it becomes a possibility.

His release clause is £101million but there have been suggestions that Napoli will start to welcome lower offers the deeper into the summer we get. For around £85million Chelsea could be tempted again, and that would certainly throw a cat amongst the pigeons against City.
Christopher Nkunku

Nkunku is like Palmer. Where does he play under Maresca? He is able to be a centre-forward, left-winger, or No.10, but in this formation, which seems to be the Maresca staple, he surely has to be on the flanks.

Chelsea will get plenty out of him if he stays fit.

Possible Chelsea lineup vs Manchester City: Costa, Gusto, Fofana, Calafiori, Colwill; Caicedo, Fernandez, Dewsbury-Hall; Palmer, Osimhen, Nkunku

In possession, Chelsea would then look like this:

Importantly, all but three of the starting XI are already in place. Fofana’s fitness makes him a doubt but Jackson can come in for Osimhen, and then Cucurella in for Calafiori, to select the team without transfers, but what fun would that be?

It also says plenty about the number of options for Maresca, that Noni Madueke, Romeo Lavia, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Raheem Sterling have not even been mentioned here…For More, CONTINUE THE FULL READING.:.

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