What to expect from Chelsea in the January transfer window

James Shearman
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 3 min read
What to expect from Chelsea in the January transfer window

After a hectic summer transfer window in which Chelsea spent more than £200m on new players, selling rather than buying could perhaps be considered January’s main priority.

Frank Lampard is struggling at the helm and, with reports suggesting that the Chelsea board are already looking for a replacement, it is unlikely that the under-pressure manager will be backed this month.

Seven points behind champions Liverpool, Chelsea sit ninth in the Premier League table after 17 games.

Chelsea January priorities

Chelsea need to trim the size of their squad, with some players often unable to make even a nine-man substitutes’ bench.

Fikayo Tomori has been relegated to fifth-choice centre-back, completing just 45 minutes in the entirety of this season so far. At 23, a loan move seems inevitable, with a bright future ahead of the defender but with regular first-team action vitally important to his development.

If not Tomori, then Antonio Rudiger could be set to leave Stamford Bridge. The defender is eager to be a part of Germany’s Euro 2021 squad and believes he will need to feature regularly in order to earn his place.

Left-backs Emerson and Marcos Alonso have both struggled to earn playing time this season after the arrival of Ben Chilwell from Leicester. Emerson has been preferred to Alonso on occasion and so the Spaniard is the more likely to move, with Atletico Madrid interested.

Danny Drinkwater is a name that most Chelsea fans will have forgotten by now but the 30-year-old is still on the books. It could take as little as £3.5m to secure his signature – just 10% of what it cost Chelsea to sign him – or it could be another loan move for the midfielder.


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  • Other possibilities

    Lampard is said to be a huge admirer of West Ham’s Declan Rice but, with the Hammers enjoying their best start to a Premier League season, it is almost impossible to imagine that they would let the player leave. Chelsea would also rely on recuperating significant fees from other players for them to consider funding this deal.

    Gianluigi Donnarumma has just six months left on his contract at AC Milan and has caught the eye of the Chelsea board. Edouard Mendy was brought in to replace struggling Kepa last summer but has tailed off after an excellent start, leaving the door open for another new goalkeeper signing, albeit a highly unlikely one.

    A loan move for Kepa is possible as Chelsea would like to build up his value before a sale. The 24-year-old’s big wages and lack of interest will be hurdles to overcome for this one to happen, though.

    Victor Moses and Ross Barkley are two more that aren’t in Lampard’s plans but, with the pair already on loan at other clubs, it will probably be in the summer that they make permanent moves away from West London.