What Does Chelsea Need to Do During the 2020 Summer Transfer Window?

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| April 15, 2020 9:20 am PDT
What Does Chelsea Need to Do During the Summer Transfer Window?

Following a series of unsuccessful transfers windows, you can bet your bottom dollar that Chelsea will be highly active in the market when the summer window opens at the end of the season.

The Blues were slapped with a two-window transfer ban last year after breaking FIFA regulations, and although that ban was eventually halved after an appeal, Chelsea still failed to sign any new players in January.

Manager Frank Lampard has done a commendable job with limited resources this season, but there is no doubt that his squad requires a major overhaul. Chelsea’s youngsters have exceeded all expectations this term, but money must be spent in the offseason to bring in some fresh faces.

At this stage, it’s worth mentioning that no one knows exactly when the transfer window will open. Given the unforeseen circumstances, there is still plenty of work to do before new dates can be scheduled.

However, it feels like the ideal time to discuss what business Chelsea needs to do when the transfer window does finally open.

In this post, I have chosen to feature a number of players who I believe Chelsea should be looking to sign, as well as players that need to be sold in the summer. But I begin by looking at plans that are already in the pipeline.

What Has Chelsea Already Got Planned?

Chelsea has already got a few moves lined up for when the season finishes. Let’s start by discussing them.

The Arrival of Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea just missed out on signing Hakim Ziyech in the January transfer window, with the Blues announcing in February that the highly rated Ajax starlet would join the club at the end of the season.

Ziyech has been nothing short of sensational for the Amsterdam outfit over the past couple of years. The Moroccan magician has consistently offered goals and assists from almost every position on the pitch, and he’s destined to light up the Premier League.

After racking up a phenomenal 21 goals and 24 assists in 49 appearances last term, Ziyech already has eight goals and 21 assists to his name in 2019/20. These numbers are crazy, so I can see him making an instant impact at Stamford Bridge.

Following Eden Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid, Chelsea has lacked a creative spark. However, Ziyech is viewed as a direct replacement for Hazard. Following in the footsteps of a club legend won’t be easy, but Ziyech has certainly got the ability to emulate Hazard’s heroics.

Multiple Contracts Expiring

There are four first-team players whose contracts expire at the end of the current campaign, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that any of them will be offered a new deal.

Veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero looks set to leave the club, while striker Olivier Giroud will also be allowed to depart for free. Wingers Willian and Pedro are also heading for the exit, so Chelsea will need reinforcements in attack.

Sure, all of these players are over the age of 30 and undoubtedly past their best. But they have all been used by Frank Lampard throughout the season, so the club must find replacements.

Players Returning From Loan Spells

Chelsea is well known for loaning out a host of talented players each year, and there will be a number of players returning to the club when their loan deals expire at the end of the season.

While aging players like Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses are likely to leave the club soon after they return, there are plenty of young stars who will be confident of breaking into Lampard’s side next term.

19-year-old center-back Ethan Ampadu has been learning his trade with Bundesliga title-contender RB Leipzig this season, while Brazilian Kenedy has enjoyed a successful campaign with La Liga side Getafe.

Tiemoue Bakayoko will also be returning to Stamford Bridge after reigniting his career with Monaco, so Lampard will have plenty to think about when the club’s loanees return.

Although these players already belong to Chelsea, they will effectively feel like new signings.

Which Players Should Chelsea Sell in the Summer?

Chelsea’s squad is in need of a revamp. Let’s look at four players who I think should be sold during the next transfer window.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa’s Chelsea career has been riddled with controversy. From refusing to be substituted in last season’s Carabao Cup final to being dropped by Lampard this term, it’s fair to say that he isn’t the most popular figure at the club.

The Spaniard became the most expensive goalkeeper of all time when the Blues signed him from Athletic Bilbao for £71 million in 2018. But he has clearly struggled to live up to his price tag, and his performances have been nowhere near good enough.

There is no hiding from the fact that Kepa has the worst save percentage of any first-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that Chelsea will be able to recuperate the money they spent on Kepa. But I believe the club should cut their losses and search for a more reliable shot-stopper.

Emerson Palmieri

Emerson has never been able to nail down a regular spot in Chelsea’s starting eleven. The Italian joined the Blues from Roma in 2018, but he’s failed to make an impression since arriving in England.

The left-back has been in and out of the team all season. But even when Emerson has been given opportunities to prove himself, he’s done very little to convince Lampard that he can trust him.

Still, Emerson is only 25, so Chelsea should be able to make a profit on him. He was initially signed for £18 million, but with a number of Italian clubs reportedly interested, Chelsea should be able to push for closer to £25 million.

Ross Barkley

After making a name for himself at Everton as one of England’s most exciting young players, Ross Barkley arrived at Chelsea with heightened expectation.

The promising midfielder joined the club in the same transfer window as Emerson. But just like the Italian, Barkley has found it difficult to deal with the competition for places at Stamford Bridge.

With Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, and Mateo Kovacic ahead of him in the pecking order, Barkley has been used sparingly by Lampard. In fact, he has only started eight of Chelsea’s 29 Premier League games this season.

Also, Ziyech’s imminent arrival will make it even tougher for Barkley to get game time, so I can’t see him staying at the club for much longer.

Michy Batshuayi

It’s clear that Lampard doesn’t think Michy Batshuayi is good enough to play for Chelsea. And when you look at the striker’s goalscoring record, you can’t really argue with the manager.

Lampard has only handed Batshuayi one EPL start in 2019/20, while 15 substitute appearances have yielded just one goal. This is a poor return, so I believe the underperforming striker should be offloaded at the next available opportunity.

Batshuayi has enjoyed a series of loan spells away from Chelsea, including successful stints at Borussia Dortmund and Crystal Palace. But if the Blues want to compete in the Champions League on a regular basis again, then Batshuayi must be sold in order to make way for a new attacker.

Which Players Should Chelsea Sign in the Summer?

Chelsea has been linked with a number of high-profile signings this season. Here are four players who I believe should be signed to strengthen the squad.

Predrag Rajkovic

Stade Reims has conceded the fewest goals in the French top flight this season, and goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic has played a pivotal role in Reims’ impressive campaign.

The giant shot-stopper is widely regarded as one of the best young goalkeepers in the game, and with over 250 senior appearances to his name, the 24-year-old is already vastly experienced.

I think Rajkovic would be an excellent signing for Chelsea. Reims isn’t in a position to demand an extortionate fee for the Serbia international, so Chelsea wouldn’t exactly have to break the bank to acquire his services.

But regardless of his price, Rjakovic would almost certainly be an upgrade on Kepa. The Serbian number one has gained a reputation as a very reliable goalkeeper, and that’s precisely what Chelsea needs right now.

Ben Chilwell

It’s no secret that Chelsea has been interested in Ben Chilwell for some time now. The Blues are long-term admirers of the Leicester City man and are expected to bid around £50 million for Chilwell in the summer.

The Foxes’ left-back has emerged as one of the top players in his position over the past couple of seasons. Not only has he become one of Leicester’s standout performers, but he’s also managed to nail down a regular spot in Gareth Southgate’s England side.

Chelsea’s current left-back choices Emerson and Marcos Alonso aren’t up to scratch, so the addition of Chilwell would definitely improve the team.

Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake joined Chelsea’s youth system in 2010 at the age of 15. But with John Terry and Gary Cahill viewed as the preferred center-back pairing at that time, it was always going to be difficult for the youngster to break into the first team.

Following an encouraging loan spell with Bournemouth, Ake joined the Cherries on a permanent basis in 2017. The Dutchman has since notched up over a century of top-flight appearances, and a return to Chelsea has been much talked about.

The Blues already possess a number of promising young defenders. Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori both have big futures ahead of them, while Antonio Rudiger is a more experienced alternative.

However, Ake would bolster Lampard’s center-back options and offer a slightly different dimension to Chelsea’s backline.

Furthermore, the 25-year-old is already familiar with the club, so he wouldn’t need too much time to settle. In my opinion, Ake would be a fantastic purchase.

Moussa Dembele

There’s no denying that Moussa Dembele is one of the best natural goalscorers in European soccer at the moment. The Lyon forward has netted 16 Ligue 1 goals already this term, attracting interest from many of the continent’s top clubs.

After banging in goals for Fulham and Celtic, the young forward has taken his game to the next level with Lyon. He is averaging just over a goal every other game in the French top tier, and this is a remarkable return for someone so young.

It feels like Dembele has been around ages, but he is still just 23. With years of top-flight experience already under his belt, he would surely thrive at Chelsea.

Tammy Abraham has very little competition for places in the striker department, so the addition of another top-class forward would unquestionably benefit the squad.

The Verdict

Given the testing circumstances, Chelsea has enjoyed a decent season so far. The Blues have scored enough goals to remain in contention for a top-four finish, but their defensive record has really let them down.

Despite sitting 4th in the EPL at the time of writing, Chelsea has conceded more goals than eight other sides in the division, so it’s clear where the team’s problem lies.

Kepa may be the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, but he’s made far too many mistakes this season. For that reason, I believe that Chelsea must invest in a better shot-stopper in order to tighten things up at the back.

However, the team’s defensive woes don’t solely stem from Kepa. In my opinion, Chelsea needs to purchase both a center-back and left-back during the summer transfer window.

There will be plenty of solid center-backs on the market come the end of the season, but I think re-signing Ake is a no-brainer. The former Blues youngster has evolved into one of the Premier League’s best defenders, and he’s now ready to return.

At left-back, the sale of Emerson would open the door for Chilwell, and in my eyes, this feels like the most probable summer switch.

It’s also vital that Chelsea brings in a striker. With Giroud, Pedro, and Willian all out of contract at the end of the current campaign, Dembele would add some much-needed firepower in attack.

Let’s not forget that Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho will also be available when the transfer window opens. Although the Bundesliga duo will be in high demand, Chelsea will no doubt be interested in signing them.

Who do you think Chelsea needs to sell and sign during the summer transfer window? Feel free to discuss your own suggestions in the comments section below.

And if you want to read more posts like this, why not head over to the soccer section of our blog?

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