Osimhen in, Maatsen out: What Chelsea need in January transfer window

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 18 Dec 2023 14:55 GMT
  • 5 min read
Victor Osimhen, Napoli, 2023/24
© ProShots

Mauricio Pochettino has made it clear that Chelsea still need reinforcements during the January transfer window, despite the ludicrous sum of money spent by Todd Boehly since 2022.

Of course, only this summer’s spending was completed with Pochettino at the helm, but the Blues still managed to rack up a record tally of €467.8 million spent in the most recent window.

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The former Spurs boss still wants a new defender, with Trevoh Chalobah set to leave, and a new striker, while goalkeeper and central midfield are also viewed as upgradable areas.

The latter makes little sense given the recent arrivals of Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu and Enzo Fernandez, and the fact Chelsea are open to selling Conor Gallagher, as per The Athletic, proves the disjointedness between the ownership and Pochettino.

While the former are happy for him to leave - likely as he’ll register as ‘Pure Profit’ under FFP rules due to the fact he’s a homegrown product - the latter has made his on-field captain in the absence of Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

Regardless, there is set to be plenty of transfer movement at Stamford Bridge in January, but what business do they actually need to conduct?


Robert Sanchez has been Chelsea’s number one all season, but the Spaniard is now injured and Djordje Petrovic was handed his first Blues start in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Saturday.

Robert Sanchez, Chelsea
© ProShots - Robert Sanchez, Chelsea

Having arrived from the MLS, he’s potentially not ready to become the west London club’s first-choice ‘keeper already, but they’ve invested in him and it makes sense to pursue that avenue before immediately reverting to the norm and signing the next shiny new toy.

If Chelsea do want to add a new goalkeeper then Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili has been targeted previously and could be a good addition, and the same applies to Gregor Kobel. Mike Maignan would be the dream for Pochettino, but he’s extremely unlikely to leave AC Milan.


Trevoh Chalobah and Ian Maatsen appear on their way out, which means Chelsea will likely dip into the transfer market to sign at least one new defender.

However, with five senior centre-backs currently on the books (Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi) and four full-backs (Ben Chilwell, Marc Cucurella, Reece James and Malo Gusto), it’s not an urgent rush.

Given Fofana’s injury and Silva’s contract situation, a new centre-back makes sense and Lille’s Leny Yoro aligns perfectly with Chelsea’s new transfer strategy of signing young players.

Leny Yoro is on Chelsea's radar
© ProShots - Leny Yoro is on Chelsea's radar

He would be an excellent addition, but his development would be stunted due to a drop in minutes thanks to the competition for places at Stamford Bridge.

Therefore, Nico Elvedi could be a perfect alternative. He has been touted for a move to the club by TEAMTalk and given he has a €10m release clause, the Swiss would be a cheap signing.

Plus, he’s 27-year-old and would therefore be a more experienced head in the dressing room.


Chelsea have an abundance of central midfielders when everyone is fit, but that hasn’t yet been the case this year.

Gallagher should not be sold, despite links with an exit, because he is a unique profile and Pochettino loves him, while someone like Alex Matos would benefit from a loan move to a club in the Championship.

Recalling Andrey Santos is vital and another loan move away would be great, if the Brazilian is able to be promised regular minutes.

Amadou Onana remains an option for Chelsea, but Ugochukwu and Lavia both haven’t been given a chance to shine yet (the latter due to injury) and it’s time they are trusted with regular minutes.

A new signing in central midfield is not needed and shouldn’t be a priority.


Victor Osimhen is the obvious name in this department and he would be an obvious improvement on Nicolas Jackson.

However, the Senegal international has still netted seven Premier League goals this term and is on course to hit 15 in the English top flight if he continues at this current rate.

Nicolas Jackson, Chelsea
© ProShots - Nicolas Jackson, Chelsea

There have been some glaring misses, but he’s shown immense promise and Osimhen’s arrival would disrupt his development.

Osimhen is a fantastic talent and if he does join Chelsea, it will be interesting to see how well his talent translates from Serie A to the Premier League, but goals would be expected to follow him from Italy to England.

If a deal is agreed in January, then Armando Broja might be best served finding a loan move for the remainder of the 2023-24 season as his minutes would suffer greatly.

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