Chelsea are in a good place at the moment. Not only do the Stamford Bridge side have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals but they’ve also been one of the Premier League’s most impressive teams over the course of the last two and a half months.
Almost all of that is, undoubtedly, down to the major changes Thomas Tuchel has made to the Chelsea squad on and off the pitch. The tactics board has been reshuffled, players have been dropped or recalled and the entire outlook for this squad has changed.
However, what that also means is that Tuchel and his backroom staff will look to impose themselves even further on this squad in the coming months and that could mean something of an exodus from Stamford Bridge for the many players that the German head coach simply doesn’t rate.
So which players could be leaving Chelsea in the summer transfer window?
Like just about every position in the Chelsea team, the spot between the posts is one that is fiercely competed over and, as a result, should force some big players to depart the club this summer in search of first team football.
Along with 39-year-old Willy Caballero, who is set to see his contract expire at the end of the season, Chelsea may also look to recoup some of the £72 million they spent on the relatively unused Kepa. His contract runs until 2025 but will undoubtedly be looking for an opportunity to move on and pick up some game time elsewhere.
Similarly, it looks as though Chelsea may be set to cut loose a number of defenders that have yet to convince Tuchel that they’re worth keeping at the club next season.
Could Thiago Silva be the most high-profile of these players to go? Perhaps, but Tuchel is a big fan of his former PSG captain and has previously suggested he could be handed a new deal, despite the Brazilian being 36. However, left-back Emerson will almost certainly be sold to after just two Premier League appearances this season.
Elsewhere, Chelsea may look to sell Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger if new contracts either aren’t offered or accepted by the players. Both players have deals until 2022 and unless extensions can be agreed, sales this summer seem likely. The club may also be tempted to cash in on Fikayo Tomori, who is currently on loan at Milan and seems to have convinced the Serie A giants to pull out the cheque book and sign him on a permanent deal.
In midfield Chelsea’s backroom staff will have a real task on their hands in trying to dig through the sheer numbers of players on the club’s books to try and figure out what to do with them all.
Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who are on loan at Napoli, Aston Villa and Fulham respectively, will almost certainly be greeted on their return to Stamford Bridge this summer with assurances that the club will happily move them on if the right offer is provided.
In terms of midfielders that are currently in Tuchel’s squad, the name on everyone’s lips this summer will undoubtedly be Billy Gilmour and whether the young Scot will feel his time at the club has drawn to an end.
Despite being highly rated by the club and Tuchel’s predecessor, Frank Lampard, the former Rangers talent has been almost non-existent in the new manager’s plans and will, at the very least, seek a loan move next season if he can’t be assured of minutes. Or, if the right club comes along, a permanent deal.
Chelsea have spent an absolute fortune on attacking players over the course of the last year, so it makes perfect sense that the club will need to offload the forward players who simply aren’t performing.
The most high profile of these attacking players will likely be Hakim Ziyech and Tammy Abraham, who have both struggled for starts or impressive performances under Tuchel’s guidance.
Although big offers will have to come in for the club to allow them to leave, it seems unlikely that either player would be enamoured by the thought of staying at Chelsea for another season if it’s anything like the one they’re in at this moment in time.
Similarly, on-loan players Michy Batshuayi, Kenedy and Victor Moses – who all have contracts with Chelsea until 2022 – are likely to leave the club this summer if decent enough offers can be made for their services.