How Chelsea will line up after €330m January transfer splurge

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 1 Feb 2023 12:39 GMT
  • 4 min read
Chelsea January signings, 2022/23
© ProShots

Chelsea made history in the January transfer window with their extravagant spending, the type of which has never been seen before in mid-season. In total, the Stamford Bridge side spent €329.5 million.

Graham Potter’s team has experienced an overhaul that saw eight players arrive at the club, seven of them on a permanent basis. Of those, Malo Gusto has been loaned back to Lyon until the end of the season, but the other half dozen have been added to the squad for the second half of the campaign.

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Of the players arriving at Stamford Bridge, Enzo Fernandez has joined for €120m from Benfica while Mykhailo Mudryk’s fee could also rise to €100m if bonuses are hit following his switch from Shakhtar Donetsk.

MORE: Chelsea's 10 most expensive transfers of all time

On top of this, Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Noni Madueke (PSV) and Gusto arrived for fees between €30-40m, while prospects Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana were snapped up for more modest prices around the €12m mark.

But after all this spending, just how much has Chelsea’s starting XI changed?

MORE: Chelsea AXE one of Enzo, Mudryk, Felix and Badiashile

Chelsea line up before and after January

In the first half of the season, they most often played a 3-4-2-1 formation.

The team selection was rather chaotic for several reasons. Firstly, there was the management change at the beginning of September when Thomas Tuchel was sacked while a string of injuries to important players, such as Ben Chilwell, who is not included in this graphic for that reason, Wesley Fofana and N’Golo Kante meant changes were required.

This is roughly how Chelsea lined up, taking injuries into account, and after the January transfer window, that is likely to look rather different.

Chelsea before January
© ProShots - Chelsea before January

Potter has been using a back four more regularly in recent weeks, but the signings that have been made suggest he will revert to a back three rapidly.

Into the defence will come Benoit Badiahsile until Wesley Fofana is fully fit again – which could be any time – but the nature of the former Leicester player’s injury means that he is likely to be treated gingerly for some weeks. Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly should retain their places.

Meanwhile, record signing Enzo Fernandez will come into the midfield, where Marc Cucurella and Cesar Azpilicueta start until Chilwell and Reece James are cleared for action. Again, this could be a quick process.

Chelsea after January
© ProShots - Chelsea after January

In attack, Chelsea still don’t have a natural No.9, so it remains to be seen if Kai Havertz or Joao Felix are preferred in that role. The likelihood is that they share the job.

Behind them, Mason Mount’s place is under threat due to poor form, but he is liable to retain it for now, with Myhailo Mudryk alongside him. Potter has preferred to invert his players in this position, with Raheem Sterling featuring on the right when selected in the first half of the season, so the Ukraine international may play that role too.

Chelsea’s squad is now huge, giving Potter a myriad of options, but these four players are the likeliest to start between now and the end of the season.

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