A squad for the future

Chelsea have the youth system and current squad to be one of the most dominant squads in the Europe and our performance in the NextGen series has showed that (beat Barcelona 2-0 and Juventus 4-1). We’re setting ourselves up for the future, however there are options that might be left out. Nonetheless, I’ll give a full XI that would, for me, be the best for Chelsea in the upcoming 5-10 years with players that are currently available to us (whether on loan, in squad or youth system).

Formation : 4-2-3-1 (since we play it now)

Goalkeeper :

Thibaut Courtois

Defense :

Cesar Azpilicueta – Kenneth Omeruo – Tomas Kalas – Ryan Bertrand

Midfield :

Romeu – Ake

Oscar – Mata – Hazard

Striker :


Goalkeeper + Defense :

Courtois is the most obvious choice for goalkeeper. He has proven himself at Genk and Atletico Madrid. In his career, he has accumulated 102 appearances. He has been incredible for Atletico this season, keeping 21 clean sheets, and is one of the reasons they are competing with Real Madrid for 2nd place. At just 20 years of age, Courtois has already earned a wealth of experience in Belgium and Spain and could be a Blues legend for a full decade should he continue his progress at such a young age. His handling and reflexes are as good as any keeper and he is particularly good at one-on-ones. The youngster might have to work on his communication, but that will come with experience.

Azpilicueta has impressed in his first season. The Spaniard has been solid defensively, while also giving Chelsea an extra dynamism going forward. Much like Ashley Cole on the opposite flank, he has linked up well with the likes of Juan Mata and Victor Moses in front of him—perhaps even more so in some instances than his predecessor.

Kenneth Omeruo has been very solid for ADO Den Haag. At just 18-years-old he cemented a place in the ADO Den Haag side last season during a late loan spell that has been continued into this season. He is known in Holland for his strong physical presence that is visible in his already firmly established 6ft 2in frame and stocky chest. Also lightning fast he can operate at both right full back and at the heart of defence. Not to mention he has also proved himself a dangerous goal threat with his aerial ability.

Tomas Kalas started at centerback in his first season long loan with Vitesse, becoming a regular starter almost as soon as he arrived. He moved to RB and Kalas has been even better this season than he was in 2012, as he really has a chance to show off his tackling ability in this role without having to worry about conceding penalties. He’s also able to push forward and join the attack when he likes, and he’s more than capable of getting back to cover his defensive responsibilities. I’d prefer him at centre back and he is very impressive at both positions.

Bertrand hasn’t had the best of seasons, but after signing a 5 year contract earlier this year, he was rewarded for his rapid progress since the turn of the year, a period in which he broke into the first team and played a key role in the Champions League final win against Bayern Munich.

Defensive Midfield :

Oriol Romeu has been very impressive since coming from Barca B, with a buy-back option available, if that doesn’t happen… Romeu is the best option. Romeu is a great tackler and good passer; his playing style resembles Sergio Busquets. His roles are simple but he executes them well. This season has been blemished with injury for the young Spanish midfielder, but he managed to claim his first goal for Chelsea. Not only is he a great player on the ball, but the defensive midfielder can mark players out the game and has incredible concentration. He reads the play really well and is able to cut out opposition and moves with ease.

Nathan Ake was very solid against Middlesbrough alongside Ramires so he is very capable of playing there despite being more of a CB and one attribute that was notable from the word go was his composure on the ball. Ake produced a promising display of talents that you would not believe a boy of his age to have. Strength, passing, movement, stamina and composure of which you would not expect the young Dutchman to carry.

Attacking Midfield :

Hazard is a wonderful player and he has shown that with his recent form and his performances from the start of the season. Plus, with the amount of attention and energy he demands from the opposition with his tremendous footwork and dribbling abilities, Hazard definitely deserves his starting spot alongside maestro Juan Mata in the advanced midfield. Lampard had this to say on Hazard – “His ability and speed off the mark and the way he is able to turn on a sixpence is what all great attacking players have and he’s got it in abundance. (Gianfranco) Zola did it throughout his career while Eden’s at a relatively early part of his career but what he is showing now are glimpses that he can be in that bracket and be one of the top players in the world”

Oscar is a highly touted youngster from Brazil signs a big contract to play with Chelsea, gets to start alongside Mata and Hazard, is dubbed one of “The Three Amigos” and has some real success in the Champions League. Oscar has proved good when given the chance to show his worth. Mata might be more established and Hazard more expensive, but Oscar has produced some of Chelsea’s finest moments this season. Less flashy than Hazard, nevertheless Oscar is just as effective, as he ghosts into space with a serene calmness.

Juan Mata, who has at times throughout 2012-13 has carried this Chelsea team. A quick look at the Spaniard’s stats says that much, with him directly involved in 41 goals for his club (23 assists, 18 goals). Chelsea have scored 113 in all competitions with Mata on the pitch, meaning the No. 10 has chipped in—in one form or another—with over a third of their goals. It’s a phenomenal statistic—one that outlines his importance to what Chelsea are trying to achieve. Given the aforementioned troubles the club has endured, it’s all the more impressive. Mata has been our best and most consistent player this season, by far. He is definitely in the running for Player Of The Year and he was the first player to reach 10 goals and 10 assists in the PL this season.

Striker :

Romelu Lukaku is perhaps the most interesting teenager in the game today. His physical tools are off the charts, and if he develops his touch and positioning, he’s got best center forward in the world potential. He has impressed while on loan at West Brom and the results are not the only things that have improved though, he’s been showing plenty of reasons to believe that he’ll eventually develop skills that will make him among the world’s best. The most notable improvement has come from Lukaku’s work in the air. He’s doing much better on long balls with his back to goal, and when he’s running he’s nearly unmarkable for opposing defenders. His accuracy with those headers still needs loads of work, but I’d much rather have a teenager that wins the battles and struggles to finish them than someone that finishes the rare ball he manages to get his head to. His dribbling has looked much better this season as well.

Honorable Mentions :

Victor Moses, Matej Delac, Alex Kiwomya, Islam Feruz, Kevin de Bruyne, Josh McEachran, Jeffrey Bruma, Nathanial Chalobah, Lucas Piazon, Marko Marin, Todd Kane, etc. (The list goes on and on).

Nonetheless, that is my squad for the future. What do you think? For the next 5-1o years, who should play in your mind? Let me know in the comment section below!

  1. Dave says

    I’d find a room for de bruyne.

    1. EKVR says

      Instead of who? Oscar? Perhaps.

      1. Lana says

        Jasmin – What an AMAZING day this was!!! Despite the chilly weeahtr that day, we had so much fun! David was a pleasure to work with and the engagement session was a perfect way to get to know David and prepare for the wedding day photo session. Thanks, David for a fantastic experience. jas

  2. colin mcintyre says

    for honorable mentions you should’ve just chose chose bench but otherwise great artice

  3. Bitto raphael says

    I think van Aaholt fits where batrand is.

    1. Vaibhav Kumble says

      Ake would go on bench and oscar comes in for CM.. bruyne joins the attacking third.. and I hope Hutchinson manages to get over his injury problems ..

  4. Zane says

    That double pivot is top heavy defensively. Throw in De Bruyne next to either Ake and Romeu and you could have a well oiled double pivot defensively and going foward.

    Oscar isn’t a central midfielder. He belongs in the three behind the striker. De Bruyne is physically and mentally more suited for the midfield.

    1. Gisela says

      Hey Matt,First of all, thanks for wintrig such a great post. It summed up the pre-season really well..I agree with you on the point of using a 4-2-3-1 formation, but i slightly differ with your opinion of us having pacy defenders and using a high-line of defense.I agree with you, that, with the kind of talent that we have bought, we should expect the team to play attacking football and have good quality possession while doing so. For that the defense wud have to give support to the MF. But out of the 3-4 regular CBs, I think only Luiz is relatively pacy and technically sound. During AVB days, I still remember the way in which so many opponents exploited the gaps between the the two CBs or the CB and the FB and our players wud not be able to track back soon enough. (Walcott’s goal after he squeezed thru the gap between Iva and JT was especially painful). Our defense is still the same, and lets accept the fact that we do NOT have a CDM/CM who can retain possession for a considerable amount of time and make a telling pass that could potentially start an attack. Mikel was great in the latter half of the previous season, but he was better at making interceptions,breaking attacks or making clearances than passing to a player up the field. Lamps used to do this on a regular basis. He would lob the ball diagonally (like the one he set up for ramires for the goal against barca at the bridge), he would repeatedly try to find the striker with a cross/pass/lob that would somehow evade the defensive line. However, we all know that lamps would not be the same box-to-box MF that he was 2-3 seasons ago. Moreover, If we hope to play the attacking , passing, possession oriented football that we are expected to, we would definitely need a proper CM in the mould of a Xavi or even a Riquelme.Now, please do not try to shoot me, I am not trying to lay down a player shopping list, I am just saying that we need a proper MIDFIELD GENERAL, in order to play the brand of football, for which we have bought players like Hazard, Oscar, Marin etc. As Modric seems to be going to Madrid and looks like RDM is not going to add any players to the midfield, I reckon we shouldn’t start the season with a high def line. Like Cech-Terry-Lamps-Drog have been the spine of the squad for the last 8 years years, the new one looks somewhat like this Cech or Courtois Luiz or Cahill Ramires or ??? Hazard or Oscar or Torres. The ??? signifies that I don’t really know if the Mid-Field would get a player who would be a proper CM who can form a perfect link between the Def and the attacking MFs / striker. However, we have some candidates who can probably contend for that position. McE , Romeu, Essien, Mikel, and even Ramires. All of them have their own pros and cons, but in my opinion, for his work-rate and pace, ramires seems to be best option as the Mid-fielder other than Mikel. Ramires and Mikel would be my choices for the MFs in front of the Def line. If they both combine well and complement each other’s strengths we can have good strong presence in the middle of the park. But even then, I don’t think we can afford to have a high defensive line, mainly coz, when it comes to keeping possession and the technical ability to hold the ball, both Ramires and Mikel aren’t that good in these departments and we could be vulnerable against quality opposition and swift counterattacks. and even if they keep possession, let’s accept they aren’t the most creative of the lot. Anyway, It seems like I have rambled on a little too much . But I am really of the opinion that we shouldn’t start the season with a high Defensive line. May be we could gradually start deploying one, once our key players have been accustomed to play with each other.KTBFFH!!!!!!Reply

    2. Tatyana says

      in an interview ththae do not want to leave Chelsea FC and instead will fight for his place, no onewill argue when Essein is in form he is one of the best box to box midfielder. Mikelis selected ahead of Essein on just purely present performances. We will haveMarin and may be Moses on bench (or any new winger signing to substitute Mata,Hazard). Cahill and Cesar(hopefully our new right back) will be on bench toreplace the defender as and when required. Struddige will be on bench assubstitute to Torres.Now none of you will have doubt about playing Torres as ourmain front striker. Playing Mata and Hazard on right and left wingsrespectively will be an advantage as they whenever wish will cut in and willhave shot with their preferred foot. Ramires and Oscar will play midfield areathis will benefit us in many reasons. Both are energetic , hard workingmidfielders. The run of Ramires from midfield or the skills of Oscar such ashis eye for the ball, great passing ability will make a lot difference. Also weall know Ramires is good in some kind of defensive duties and for those whodon’t know Oscar, he is good in some defensive duties which will help Mikel andthat’s why none of the wingers will be required to fall back. Also Oscar likesto collect the ball from deep midfield and then built up the attack. This meansRamires and Oscar will both complement each other very well.Some of you will even argue that this will make our midfieldvery light but the way we are looking to build and play the different stylishattacking football this will be one of the best suited style.Whatever formation we play, whoever breaks into first teamsquad it will be decided by RDM the man who knows best about the team than anyof us.Blues for life……..!!!!!!!!!CHELSEA FC till I die……….!!!!!!!!!!!SAMRAT DESHMUKH :-CHELSEA FC FAN FROM LAST 12 YEARS.Reply

  5. indo blues says

    horrible 😛

  6. Magic says

    Me luv ur pc

  7. Saad says

    u always take solcae from Arsenal’s condition rite..? Well they defeated Spurs 5-2 aft being 2 goals down and beat Liverpool at Anfield 2-1 aft being a goal down Do u still think we deserve the fourth place instead of them?Reply

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