Nkunku in, Havertz out: How Chelsea could line up under Pochettino next season

Nkunku in, Havertz out: How Chelsea could line up under Pochettino next season

Ifeanyi Ufomadu 12:47 - 29.06.2023

After Chelsea's abysmal 2022/23 campaign, Mauricio Pochettino has arrived to steer the club in a different direction with a host of new signings at his disposal.

Pochettino favours a high-intensity approach and will likely only select players who are willing to run themselves into the ground. The former Tottenham manager is also likely to go with a 4-2-3-1 system which will be a departure from the 3-5-2 that has been employed in recent seasons.

Let us take a look at how the Blues could line up next season, taking into account the current players and players strongly linked. Formation 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper - Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa Arrizabalaga

The 28-year-old has had a rough spell since moving to Stamford Bridge for £72million becoming the world's most expensive goalkeeper. While there are undoubtedly errors in his game, the Spaniard has improved recently and should retain his position in goal.

Right back – Reece James

This is pretty easy. James is one of the best right-backs in world football on his day and as long as he is fit, he should be a guaranteed starter.

Centre back – Thiago Silva

We could have easily gone for the younger and more athletic Wesley Fofana but Silva is still Chelsea’s best defender and was the team’s player of the just-concluded season. The 39-year-old will likely be given the captain’s armband with Cesar Azpilicueta expected to depart.

Chelsea defenders Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile
Chelsea defenders Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile

Centre back – Benoit Badiashile

The former Monaco man was one of the bright spots from the January transfer window for Chelsea.  He provides balance to the Blues’ defence and also has the necessary pace and quality on the ball to be a big part of the side’s future.

Left back – Ben Chilwell

Chilwell is just a much better fit than Marc Cucurella and should always start when fit.

Chelsea projected lineup for 2023/24 season under Mauricio Pochettino

Defensive midfielder – Enzo Fernandez

Enzo is possibly Chelsea’s most technically gifted player and the best in this position. A perfect springboard for Mauricio Pochettino to build upon.

Box-to-box midfielder – Moises Caicedo*

Caicedo is yet to arrive at Stamford Bridge but the expectation is that he would eventually be recruited. Will be an excellent addition.

Advanced playmaker – Christopher Nkunku

Nkunku is an excellent addition to this Chelsea side. He can thrive in a number of attacking positions but his best football has generally come as a second striker.

Pochettino will hope he can translate that form to England and not follow the path of another former Leipzig star who moved to Chelsea in Timo Werner.

Right winger – Noni Madueke

Showed his immense ability in flashes and would certainly benefit from a settled run in the side and in his favourite position.

Left winger – Raheem Sterling

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Chelsea will certainly be more successful if they can get the best out of Raheem Sterling. He had a rough first season at Stamford Bridge but with the right supply, he can score goals.

Striker – Nicolas Jackson

ANALYSIS Why are Chelsea targeting Nicolas Jackson?

Chelsea have spent significantly to secure the services of the 22-year-old Villareal striker Nicolas Jackson and he would be a superb addition. Quick, strong, and a good finisher, he will be the perfect striker to lead the Blues into their new era.

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