The Crystal Ball: Looking into Chelsea's future


After a disappointingly uneventful transfer window in which we did very little in the way of improving the squad, I’m going to cast my eyes forward 7 months to the start of next season. There’s not much left to salvage from this fiasco of a campaign, so why not look to the future?

The Manager
Jose Mourinho

Rafael Benitez, thankfully, shouldn’t be remaining at Stamford Bridge for too long. His contract is up in the summer, and there is no shortage of candidates, despite some labelling the Chelsea hot seat as a poisoned chalice. There are still plenty of options for Abramovich.

Another young, up-and-coming manager. Jurgen Klopp fits the bill nicely, but he’s staying at Dortmund. Joachim Low wouldn’t be too bad either, but he’s got a World Cup to build for and he won’t leave Germany till after it. Roberto Martinez and Michael Laudrup have also been mentioned, but neither would appear to be a big enough name for Abramovich, and they are untested in Europe.

A player-manager. We’ve had a couple of these in the not-too-distant past, and if John Terry or Frank Lampard (the only realistic possibilities) were to take over the reins it would certainly be a popular move from Uncle Roman. However this also looks very risky and I can’t see Abramovich trying it.

A fan’s favourite. Someone we appreciate, and know, and like. Just like Di Matteo. Sadly, the prospect of a heroic return for Robbie seems outlandish. Zola, Clarke and Poyet are all doing well with Watford, West Brom and Brighton, and are all viable options. The most likely of the three looks like Poyet, after Coral slashed the odds on him being Chelsea’s next gaffer from 25-1 to 3-1, then suspended betting.

A returning hero. There are two options of this nature; Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho. While some reports have claimed Hiddink is ready to return to Stamford Bridge to replace Benitez, he himself has stated he will retire at the end of this season with Anzhi Makhachkala. The prospect of Hiddink can’t be entirely ruled out, bud I’d class it as “highly unlikely”. Leaving Jose Mourinho. He hasn’t had the happiest of seasons at Real Madrid, it is fair to say, but his managerial skills remain beyond question. He has the credentials, the personality, the profile, everything. He is a perfect fit, but that’s another article altogether. Interestingly, I came across a poll yesterday asking who Chelsea fans want as their next permanent manager, and Mourinho took 75% of the vote. Joachim Low was in 2nd place with 7%. Clearly I’m not in the minority.

The Playing Staff

Predicted squad

Petr Cech, Asmir Begovic, Jamal Blackman

Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, Jeffrey Bruma, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Ryan Bertrand, Luke Shaw

Oriol Romeu, Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh McEachran, John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, David Luiz, Ramires

Oscar, Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini, Isco, Lucas Piazon, Gael Kakuta, Victor Moses

Demba Ba, Radamel Falcao, Andre Schurrle, Romelu Lukaku


Ross Turnbull, Henrique Hilario, Paulo Ferreira, Yossi Benayoun, Florent Malouda, Marko Marin, Fernando Torres.

I don’t think I’ve surprised anyone here. Turnbull, Hilario, Ferreira, Benayoun and Malouda are all out of contract in the summer, and there seems to be no good reason for Chelsea to keep any of them. It seems highly unlikely that any of those 5 players will ever see any significant game-time at Chelsea, and in any case they don’t really deserve it.

Meanwhile, Marin and Torres both look like two of the biggest wastes of money I’ve ever seen. Marin hasn’t had much of an opportunity to shine, but when he has, we’ve seen nothing of note other than the attempted murder of Stephane Mbia against QPR. I envisage him going back to Germany in a player-plus-cash deal for Schurrle.

Fernando Torres, on the other hand, has had far too many opportunities. He ran out of last chances a long time ago. And I am sure that Mourinho can see that Torres is damaged goods, and he won’t make Torres’s excuses like a certain corpulent Spaniard has been doing. He’ll be on his way, either to a nouveau riche team like Zenit, Anzhi or PSG, or as I think will be the case, back to Atletico in part exchange for Radamel Falcao.


Asmir Begovic, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Isco, Andre Schurrle, Radamel Falcao.

Another hefty summer outlay looks on the cards. There are serious gaps that require filling, and Jose will do it, backed by Abramovich. Just as it was in the glory days of 2004-06. I’m sounding like a Liverpool fan now.

Whatever. One problem that looks sure to arise in the summer will be the lack of cover for Cech. Turnbull and Hilario will be gone, Cech is too good not to start, Courtois is too good not to start. Therefore Courtois will be loaned once again, though it will be for the last time. Cech will stay, but it will probably be his last season. But beyond him, the backup would be Blackman, Delac and Walker. That’s even worse than what we’ve got now. We’ll need cover, and Begovic springs to mind. We tried to get Butland, but he chose Stoke. He’ll join the Potters next season, so Stoke will have a surplus. Butland will start; Begovic will still be around, as will Sorensen. Begovic is too good to sit on Stoke’s bench. Chelsea will need a keeper, Begovic will be available, he has tried to join Chelsea before, and has previously been willing to be a backup keeper. Perfect.

Luke Shaw is a player who I think will come under the Michael Emenalo category of “great prospects signed for the sake of signing them”. He is very much a Premiership-level fullback aged 17, a proud Chelsea fan, and just too good to miss out on. If Southampton are relegated, which they might well be, they’ll have to sell some of their prized assets, and Luke Shaw is one of them. His personal allegiance to Chelsea might prove vital. I think he’d benefit from a year on loan, but he’s good enough now and would probably benefit even more from a year under the tutelage of Ashley Cole.

Marouane Fellaini isn’t a player I’m totally sold on, but his departure from Everton seems like a matter of time. His technical abilities are in some doubt, but there is no doubt that his physical attributes, his tackling, stamina, strength, shooting and heading make him a terrific utility man who can play anywhere in the spine of a team. He has previously spoken of his wish to play in the Champions League; Chelsea can offer that and Everton can’t. And our Belgian army might help to convince him to come to the Bridge. I think it’s happening.

Isco is a very interesting case; Malaga need money desperately, Chelsea need cover for Mata and I’m sure there’s more to the Piazon loan than meets the eye. Regardless of whether or not we’ve secured a first refusal on him, he is a brilliant player with all the potential to be the next Andres Iniesta. If we don’t get him, Barca will, and his buyout clause is well within our financial means. I’m quietly confident of Isco, now that Willian has been snapped up by Anzhi.

Another deal I believe we will make is Lazar Markovic. Like Shaw, he a mega-talented teenager who any team would want. Like Shaw, his club might well be forced to sell quite soon. Like Shaw, he’s in the category of buying for the sake of buying. Like Shaw, he’s a self-proclaimed Chelsea fan. Like Shaw, he’d benefit from a year on loan but would also benefit from learning off the brilliant players already at Chelsea. Like Shaw, he’s already visited Chelsea but unlike Shaw he wasn’t playing against us and unlike Shaw I think he will be loaned out.

Our most obvious weakness is the strikeforce; I’ve already posted an article on this, and the one player I honestly believe we need is Neymar. Despite what I’ve said before, I’m slightly inclined to take Neymar’s word as true that he won’t leave Santos until summer of next year, which seems an awfully long time. But it is obvious that reinforcements are needed, and they will come. The Kraken will come home, whatever he’s said about staying at West Brom. Torres must leave. And the 2 deals I’ve mentioned (Torres + cash for Falcao and Marin + cash for Schurrle) just seem like common sense, both have been mentioned in the press and I think both deals would be good ones for all parties involved.

Falcao, a world-class predator + Ba, a terrific deputy + Lukaku, a young, terrifying different option + Schurrle, an exciting, versatile forward = a proper strikeforce. One that the Manchesters would fear and envy in equal measure. And that would complete a seriously good squad, as good as any which has ever been seen at Stamford Bridge and one that would be fully capable of competing for trophies on all fronts without suffering from a lack of squad depth or from AFCON. Bring on next season!

Am I wildly over-optimistic or do we have a realistic chance of assembling a squad like this? Would you even want this amount of competition in the squad, or do you think it could be bad for morale? Could we keep 4 top strikers happy, regardless of which formation we’d use? And which formation would you want? Are you totally opposed to Fellaini and Falcao and would you prefer Beñat and Neymar?

  1. Filipe Otavio says

    My predicted squad is:

    Cech, Begovic*, Blackman
    John Terry, David Luiz, Cahill, Bruma
    Azpilicueta, Ashley Cole, Ivanovic, Bertrand
    Mikel, Fellaini*, Ramires, Lampard
    Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Victor Moses, De Bruyne, Lucas Piazon
    Falcao*, Demba Ba, Lukaku

    And a starting lineup with “Cech, Azpilicueta, Terry, David Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Fellaini, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Falcao” would be good

  2. Anonymous says

    This would be absolutely wonderful! I’m not completely sold on Fellaini and I would actually prefer Benat. Luke Shaw would be a great addition to the team and a true heir to Ashley Cole not to mention he’s a chelsea fan. We should also let McEachran and Chalobah and De bruyne have a run at the first team. Once falco joins us and Lukaku rejoins us we would be almost unstoppable. Also give Lampard a new contract. I think he earned it.

  3. karl says

    I just want Jose back….


  4. Vaibhav Kumble says

    So the idea is to spend big. AGAIN?!!! And what if we dont win much next season??? I will see this same article suggesting other names.. Sorry. I dont see the need to make so many wholesome changes. Neymar. Too exp. So no deal. Fellaini highly over rated. No deal. Falcao again too expensive but we could go for him if we are buying only 1-2players and selling 3-4. I hope lamps stays. Isco is a must. He is too talented and too cheap to let go. He must be our first buy no matter what. I saw him against barca and he schooled them which is no mean feat. Then comes the strikeforce. Lets agree to disagree about torres cause I’ve had too many a discussions on why we should keep him. He had two assists in two games. Our def couldnt hold our leads. How in the world does the blame goes on Torres is a mystery to me. All in all we just need the special one back and we need our loaned players back. I personally think Courtis should become our no.1 next season.

    1. brynknight says

      Maybe I didn’t make it clear enough, these are my predictions, not my wish-list. I’d rather sell Cech and start Courtois than buy Begovic, and I’m not convinced by Fellaini either. I’d certainly take Neymar over Falcao. The squad as I predicted looks a bit overcrowded, so guys like Chalobah, McEachran, Piazon and Lukaku might well be loaned out again.

      1. Vaibhav Kumble says

        Well in that case I hope ur predictions don’t come true. And I wld make Courtis no.1 with Cech as backup and blackman third choice

      2. envyme104 says

        Must say I agree wit the post above urs. We saw it wit sturidge where we hardly gave him any chances and the very few we gave him he barely performed now the same thing is happening with marin nd som of us think he shud b a part of a deal. Cmon, we saw wat he is capable of in pre-season. He needs a run of games just lke sturidge needed. Roman has spoilt most of chelsea fans so much that som of us expect everything to happen one time

  5. Anonymous says

    Neymar and Benat for me

  6. Anonymous says

    It all just sounds way too good to be true.
    In all honesty I think torres (just like everyone else) will leave chelsea on a free transfer…
    Anyway! one thing I really have seen is that there is a lot of talent in the lower leagues, and one player that caught my attention is Dean Furman (completed national duty with South Africa last night at AFCON). He’s a hardworker, defends well and stems attacks from he’s own half. Basically what I’m saying is that although we definitely need some high profile players, we should still see what talent is in the lower leagues.
    BUT then again, why do we bother about these things!!! Its not like we get to choose who want! Its Roman’s choice and I really hope he makes a good one… KTBFFH!!!

  7. king elijah says

    Good write up, but our defence also needs to be strenghten. As per the fellani deal, I don’t it’ll be a good deal for chelsea. We already have players on loan who can play that role very well, if I can’t remember much, atleast I can still remember Josh Mceachran very well and I belive if we give him time, the young lad will perform excellently well for us.

    Pls can someone pls tell Roman Abrahamovicto let go of Toress and also advice Rafa to put the guy on the bench atleast for the rest of the season and put BA in our starting line up, cos toress isn’t getting it anymore. I’m sad when I see a big team dealing with chelsea and taking 3 point from us. Rafa should give BA the time to show us what he got.

    As for the manager, I root all the way for Jose, cos I think he’s the only coach roman will wants to give much time to succeed.

  8. king elijah says

    Pls I want to know if the story I heard about Kenneth Omeru the Nigerian defender is true. Is Omeru a chelsea Loany? Pls I want an answer for this. And if the story is true, I think the guy should be called back cos I see talent in him. He’s an excellent defender and I believe if the guy is included in the chelsea squad he will be ready to play with all his heart.

    1. brynknight says

      Yes, Kenneth Omeruo is owned by Chelsea and is on loan for the season at ADO Den Haag in Holland. He’s had a fairly good season by all accounts, but I would say Wallace and Tomas Kalas are certainly ahead of him in their development, and maybe Todd Kane as well. He has a real struggle ahead of him to ever make the Chelsea first team.

  9. Oria says

    Benet and nemyer is better and more skillfull wen it come to foot work

  10. MOSES says

    i think buying this or selling this is not the problem,what Abramovic need to do is hire a manager who is good and give him a free will to run the club and Chelsea will be a fearfull team

  11. Abishaek says

    Chelsea should not omit Torres cause he has scored 15 goals in his 40 appearances this season(Pretty Decent).He still has the potential to score 35 goals this season.The solution to make him scoring is to pair him with Ba.Chelsea should either play the 4-1-3-2 formation or 4-4-2 formation.Benitez is really mad not 2 play both BA and Torres for atleast once!!

    1. drogba says

      y ningun gol a dado ningun titulo, solo anota en goleadas y contraequipos debiles

  12. king elijah says

    alright bt I will like to see all the names you mention in the blue shirt. Cos chelsea’s defence is far too bad at the moment and we need to work on that.

  13. Anonymous says

    torres should leave alongside malouda turnbull and bring in luke shaw essien lukaku falcao and bennet with the leadership of mourinho we will b unstoppable

  14. Calum says

    If we look back to the past from 09/10 season onwards things league wise haven’t been great since then, a few contributing reasons really. With the ongoing lack of stability at the club, managers and coach’s and players in and out, for example Ray Wilkins I thought was good for the club yet he was made to leave. Carvalho, Ballack, Deco from 2010 left i thought 2 more years for them and Essien, Drogba and Malouda have either fell out of favor by not being resigned or loaned out or even put into the reserves these players could still be playing a role for 1 maybe 2 seasons more. Which would be now in the future if they had stayed. other things such as lack of rotation to the current squad with the 7 competitions we were in there are and still are many games players have played 30+ games only half way through season both RDM and RAFA have not addressed the fatigue of the squad correctly with players losing their edge and also late subs which usually don’t have an effect and now looking to the future we do not need lots more signings we need stability and control over the squad and long term future at the club. We need a manager who can sign a 5 year contract and not be sacked or resign within the time he has. Abramovich is the main man but he needs to be more patient with the permanent managers and coaches. There is a few things I may have missed out but these things need to be learned form the past so the future is not the same, we have done well for 10 seasons with 11 trophies (think its 11) also with 9-10 managers in that time I have lost count but just think what we can win with more stability with a long term manager imagine is Mourinho had stayed we would be the best in the world undisputed. We may have won the Champions league but the follow up is not to be proud of, we have not instilled fear into out opponents this season and we need change for the better, the players are great we have experience and young talent and some with a bit of both. Its not the players they are good enough its all the contributing factors to the inconsistency there is no individual blame to anyone man. Play as a team, win as a team and lose as a team!

  15. Anonymous says

    fellaini, falcoa, markovic, shaw, schurrle, begovic, isco would fix make chelsea a whole lot stronger but the right person to manage them is Mourinho. that would fix the stability problem, get us 2 new strikers, 2 young players with potential begovic would fill the hole for cech, and fellaini can play anywhere and his abilities make the whole squad stronger.

  16. Cezzy says

    Yea admin i’m in total support of all u’ve posted,but d 1 think u 4got was a member of d coaching staff/board and dat shuld be YOU(Admin).You are terific nd incredible in organizing a team,i think u shuld consider going into coach or any other thing in football dat has 2 do wit management.

  17. Zane says

    Even if we bought Diamé or Fellaini,it wouldn’t have made a difference. Sure they are physical players but we already have that type for the double pivot. It’s obvious the transition from defense to attack is super slow and that’s why teams find it easy to gather quickly to defend against us.

    Our strikers are getting limited chances mainly because of this,there’s no room to work when opponents sit back while we just pass it around only to see minimal shots testing keepers. If Benitez had any control in transfers during the January window,I’m pretty sure he would have bought the right type of player who can move the ball faster from deep.

    People enjoy bashing Torres but they don’t know what they are saying. If he played for Real Madrid now,he would have been known today as one of the best.

  18. Anonymous says

    We have to call Courtois and give more minutes to marin, he’s a good player but he hasn’t played enough.

  19. Zane says

    Your squad is way too big. I foresee alot of frustration. When I look at your predicted midfielders and strikers,if I was a play,I would hand in a transfer request first thing. This current squad is good enough as it is but needs minimal changes and here are my reasons.

    1) This passing game and overcrowding the opponent’s final third is clearly not working.

    2) Due to the above,our strikers suffocate and this is transparent in the shot rate from them-3 shots maximum are poor service from the players behind them.

    3) We need a holding midfielder who can fall straight into the starting line up,preferably a regista (deep laying playmaker). This type of player can do wonders in attack,especially counter attacks. Honestly,I don’t see why Fellaini is needed when we already have Mikel,Romeu and Ramires.

    4) Four strikers with all those midfielders? Who will play and who will never play? Your midfield is already overcrowded as it is. We only need two physical players (Mikel and Romeu) and one regista (unknown but a player who can pass accurately from deep-De Bruyne can play there and Josh is likely to stay on loan) and one box to box type.

  20. michaelchawiya says

    Kenneth omeruo we hv a gem of a player, i vry optimistic that next season our new manager will include him in the squad or big clubs will cm knocking for his signature, and 1 thing i assure u this guy is destined for greatness, at 19 he kept the great Drobga queit n he shows evryone wat he cn do. I m sure at centre back position we hv wonderful young talent Omerui n Kalas. Ktbffh

  21. Yasho says

    I agree with Zane here, the squad is too big here,
    I would buy Isco, Falcao and Shaw
    Spending 25 mill on Fellaini(Doesn’t fit our style of play) and 20 mill on Shurrle is ridiculous

    We have heaps of talent, we just have to use it. If fellaini arrives McEachran doesn’t play, If Shurrle does De Breuyne/ Piazon dont get a chance

    The manchester clubs have 4 strikers because they start with 2 each game, we would start with one

    Torres and Marin out….

    1. brynknight says

      I agree that the squad I’ve put down is a bit overcrowded, but these weren’t what I want, it’s not what I think will fix Chelsea’s problems (although it probably would). I don’t think the prospective squad is really that different to what Man City have, and I’m fairly sure it fits within the FA’s 25-man squad with home-grown and U21 rules, though I haven’t checked everyone’s registration and ages for next season.
      Nevertheless you are probably right, and the likes of Bruma, Chalobah, McEachran, Kakuta, Piazon and Lukaku could be loaned again, though they are all ready for Chelsea.
      Ultimately what I put in an article makes no difference; it is the job of the manager, whoever that will be.

  22. Anonymous says

    have you even heard of FFP????
    and why shud chelsea keep buying when they already have good players in piazon,de bruyne,chalobah,kalas??
    1 striker and 1 powerful defensive midfielder shud be enough.

  23. awesome says

    You are fucking delusional, I mean, u mad bro? How in the flying fuck is chelsea gonna get the money for these players, get your facts right sherry!

Comments are closed.