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Deadwood Clearout


TomCFC85

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A friend of mine got me thinking about the amount of deadwood in our squad,
Feel free to reply with your own
(Hazard isn't on because I think his future is already decided)
 In my opinion:

Keep at all costs:
Hudson-Odoi
Kante
Christensen
Kepa
Rudiger

Preferably Stay unless an amazing offer comes in:
Jorginho
Luiz
Azpi
Emerson
Giroud
Pedro
Willy

Sell:
Alonso
Willian
Drinkwater
Zappacosta
Barkley
Cahill
 

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It's an interesting exercise, but it all depends on what happens with the appeal of the transfer ban.  I prefer to think conservatively and plan for the worst case scenario of the ban being upheld.  That means keeping most players, and for me, this as who from the current squad (owned & loaned) should go at all costs:

  • Drinkwater
  • Zappacosta
  • Cahill
  • Willian/Pedro (one of these.  I prefer to keep Pedro)
  • Higuain
  • Kovacic

 

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Azpi should be definite keep, he’s one of the finest defenders in England. I’d like to keep Kovacic too, I think he has a lot more to offer than we’ve seen so far (some incredible flashes of brilliance driving forward).

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31 minutes ago, Kentonio said:

Azpi should be definite keep, he’s one of the finest defenders in England. I’d like to keep Kovacic too, I think he has a lot more to offer than we’ve seen so far (some incredible flashes of brilliance driving forward).

Azpilicueta isn't a very good fullback, we need to upgrade on him next season. Over the years, he's been very good for us but I think his limitations are actually shown at full back. Lack of pace, poor crosser of the ball near the byline and has declined defensively of late (which used to be his forte). We desperately need to improve our flanks next season in order for us to compete.

Kovacic is hopeless, aimless dribbles and sideways passing. Send back to Madrid, asap.

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This is what I would do, not what I think we'll do (this is if we don't get banned from the transfer window).

my-image(3).thumb.png.5da1bd50375abae37d77e1da08848d48.png

I do rate Rudiger but I don't think him and Christensen are a title winning duo so therefore I put him as a squad player.

Recall the following: James, Zouma and Mount.

Sign: A striker, two fullbacks, a winger and possibly a centre back.

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I'm in the Keep Barkley bandwagon.

He's relatively cheap. He's young, he's homegrown, he's improving.

Assuming transfer ban, Kovacic is gone, Mason Mount is in.

That leaves five midfielders for 6 spots.

Kante
Mount
Barkley
Ruben
Jorginho

I wouldn't want to lose Barkley off of that list. I think he's a good squad option.

 

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8 hours ago, TomCFC85 said:

A friend of mine got me thinking about the amount of deadwood in our squad,
Feel free to reply with your own
(Hazard isn't on because I think his future is already decided)
 In my opinion:

Keep at all costs:
Hudson-Odoi
Kante
Christensen
Kepa
Rudiger

Preferably Stay unless an amazing offer comes in:
Jorginho - sell
Luiz - sell
Azpi
Emerson
Giroud - keep
Pedro - sell
Willy

Sell:
Alonso
Willian
Drinkwater
Zappacosta
Barkley
Cahill
 

I agree with the rest other than the ones in bold which I’d also sell

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3 hours ago, Skinnedy said:

I'm in the Keep Barkley bandwagon.

He's relatively cheap. He's young, he's homegrown, he's improving.

Assuming transfer ban, Kovacic is gone, Mason Mount is in.

That leaves five midfielders for 6 spots.

Kante
Mount
Barkley
Ruben
Jorginho

I wouldn't want to lose Barkley off of that list. I think he's a good squad option.

 

Barkley's improving? i must of missed that. He's had his place taken by Loftus Cheek too.

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We need new pacy full backs that can help our attack more then the ones we currently have. Jorginho and the deep laying playmaker role needs to go, put Kante in that position to disrupt the oposition instead. Bring in atleast one creative box to box midfielder that can help our attack. With Hazard leaving we need to rebuild our front three as well, keep Pedro, Giroud and CHO.

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26 minutes ago, jack_super_class said:

He's had?? ?his place taken by Loftus Cheek too.?

I'm OK with that. Someone has to be a back up... Barkley is a nice option as a reserve. Plenty of minutes to go around in the midfield. We'll need some bodies 

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A clear out is a massive understatement of the work required to get us back to reaching champions league semi finals and competing regularly for the league. 

If it was at all possible to do it all in one window. 

Keep 

Kepa, Azpilicueta, James, Rudiger, Christiansen, Zouma, Ampadu, Emerson, RLC, Kante, Mount, jorginho*, CHO, Hazard, pulisic, Abraham.

*if sarri stays. 

Sell

Zappacosta, luiz* cahill* Alonso, drinkwater, Barkley, pedro, Willian, Giroud, batshuayi, bakayoko, moses, kenedy, morata. 

*out of contract. 

Need

a commanding centre back, physical, good on the ball, leadership.

a left back with pace, excellent delivery, and good defensively. 

A centre midfielder that has technique, power, and aggression, that can either back up kante and jorginho, or replace jorginho and play in a 2 man midfield.

A left footed winger that scores and creates goals regularly.

A striker strong enough to fight and hold the ball up, fast enough to offer a threat in behind, and clinical I front of goal. 

This is how far we are off challenging. I have no faith the club will even get close to addressing these problems, that's even if we can this summer. So my expectations are top 6, maybe sneak into Champions league, and decent cup runs. I think that's where we are as a club now.

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Well we have a number of enormous variables to consider before we can definitively make these kinds of calls. So:

- Is Hazard leaving?

Probably the simplest one to consider because presumably the answer to this is yes. In theory we signed Pulisic as a direct replacement, however this is now complicated by a) the fact that we might not be able to sign anyone else, and b) that Hudson-Odoi will now probably not be match ready until after Christmas at the earliest (assuming he even stays with the club). All of a sudden Willian and Pedro have become crucial to our squad structure. It's all well and good complaining about Willian's end product, but unless we know whether we will actually be able to sign a replacement before thoughtlessly discarding a player who could well be our second-longest serving player next season (assuming Hazard and Cahill leave), we may have to ponder a little longer.

So, taking out Hazard, our options in the attacking midfield/wing positions will be:

Senior: Pulisic, Willian, Pedro, Hudson-Odoi

Youth/On Loan: Kenedy, Izzy Brown, Charly Musonda, Piazon, K Hazard, Luke McCormick?

A set of players who are either unproven (including Pulisic), in their early 20s having shown no indication that they are of Premier League quality, then Willian and Pedro. If we are unable to sign replacements, then I'm sorry, but Willian and Pedro are going nowhere, and it will be the correct decision. If we can then it's a different question entirely. This brings us onto our next consideration:
 

- Who will be our manager next season?

This is, of course, an enormous consideration. Take the case of Bakayoko for example. If we keep Sarri then he doesn't have a place in the first XI; if we replace Sarri with someone who favours midfield runners (e.g. Jardim, Conte - the former of whom has worked with him previously) then he suddenly becomes more of an asset. I sincerely hope that we have already made a decision on this, regardless of whether we win the Europa/qualify for the CL, if for no other reason than we can actually start planning. If we faff around until mid-July (as has been our recent practice with the exceptions of 2014/15 and 2016/17) then we're dooming ourselves to another season of mediocrity and enormous frustration.

Quite a lot of our squad is still geared towards playing a three-man defence. It's possible that Sarri's potential successor may wish to revert to that. Excellent news for Luiz, Christensen, Alonso, Bakayoko, arguably Reece James; terrible news for Jorginho in particular, probably Kovacic, Barkley, even potentially Loftus-Cheek and Mount.

My point is that this is a key decision which we need to make in advance of the summer so we know what moves to make with our squad. It would be useless to sell David Luiz for example (in isolation not necessarily a bad idea, but as I am trying to say, entirely dependent on the tactical context) then appoint somebody in mid-July who decides that they want to play a three-man defence, for which Luiz is (in theory) ideal. This is a critical juncture for the club, and we absolutely need joined-up thinking to make the best possible fist of it. Of course this is something we have lacked horribly in our recent history and is likely the main contributory factor for the mess in which we currently find ourselves. We should already be talking to Sarri or his potential successor about how to best move this squad forward and the best way to evolve it into the most effective version of itself.

 

- Will the transfer ban prevent us from registering any players next summer?

I think this goes without saying really. The Willian/Pedro hypothetical in part 1 is a perfect example of the decisions we might have to make regarding the squad if we are unable to sign any upgrades. I suppose the best approach to this would be to look at the problem areas of our squad (although again, this is complicated by not knowing what on-pitch tactics we will be employing next season), and looking at the best ways to upgrade them or maintain them based on whether we can or cannot take action in the transfer market.

 

Goalkeepers:

Sarri: Fine, obviously Kepa is pretty much perfectly-suited for this system (and he's young), Caballero less so, although he is experienced enough (and Kepa capable of enough matches over the course of the season) that I'm not too bothered if we keep him. I've also read various sources saying that he is a good dressing room presence. Admittedly I feel like a bit of a hypocrite as I recall bloviating about the importance of second keepers in the past, however the squad's problems are now that extensive that this feels like a minor quibble. I don't know enough about Bulka to comment. If we are able to move in the transfer market we could keep an eye out for anybody who becomes available, however I don't deem it to be a big priority.

Other: Here we might hit a problem; Kepa is, in theory, a poor fit for a team playing more reactive, aggressive football. He is, in my opinion, not an elite shot-stopper, nor is he particularly effective at claiming high balls. If we are choose a strategy where we are more inclined to defend deep, this is obviously going to be a problem. To be honest we handled the Courtois situation quite poorly; we knew he wanted to leave months before the actual deadline. Unless we plan to put all our eggs in the Sarri basket, or at least to replace him with someone who would demand an equivalent type of goalkeeper, we have spent a ridiculous sum of money on someone who may only be effective for the reign of a single manager - again, terrible planning and a lack of joined-up thinking. I recall someone (I think it was @g3.7 talking about Morata) saying that we should take these kinds of enormous modern investments with a "moral seriousness", and I am inclined to agree. Kepa is still young (remember De Gea's first season at Man Utd?) and the club has gone out on a huge limb making him our #1. If we are simply able to discard a player who cost us £71m without a thought to the implications (Death of Football anyone?) then it will simply add to my feeling of disgust and alienation towards the modern, money-fuelled game.

All situations: Keep Kepa, Caballero, Bulka/Eduardo/whoever

 

Full-backs:

I think our decision regarding right-backs is fairly straightforward, regardless of who is in charge, or whether we are able to make transfers. Azpilicueta should remain a starter both in a back four (RB, also LB), and in a back three (RCB, like under Conte). Zappacosta is, in my opinion (seemingly also in Sarri's opinion), nowhere near good enough and should be sold. Reece James has been pulling up trees at Wigan and has performed as well as could conceivably been expected of him and should be brought in as #2. He can also play RWB (and apparently CM, although we'll see whether that translates when moving up a division). In my opinion replacing Zappacosta with James in the squad is the easiest decision we have to make this summer. He also brings the benefit of being home-grown. I would also be inclined to bring Ola Aina into the squad (unless we already have something worked out with Torino); his versatility (able to play on both sides) will be a real asset, considering the following...

Left-back is more of a concern. Emerson and Alonso are both, in my opinion, not good enough to play in a back four. I'm satisfied (although not exactly happy) to keep them as wing-backs assuming we play a back three. Our other options from the youth team/loanees are Aina (unproven in the PL), daSilva (about whom I know next to nothing other than that he is popular at Charlton and Bristol City), Rahman (not so different from Emerson really), and Kenedy (a non-starter in my opinion). We also likely have our hands tied by Alonso's bumper new contract. I think this situation is a bit of a mess regardless of who the manager is, and also whether we can transfer people in. We are going to be stuck with players who are either not up to Champions League standard, or who are almost entirely unproven in the Premier League. If we can make signings then I suppose we potentially have the option of loaning out any of the above to make room for a replacement (lest the squad become horribly bloated or we have to give someone the Malouda/Alex treatment), but I sense the club hierarchy are satisfied with our options here. I also don't know what realistic options are available to replace the starters.

So, ultimately, keep Azpilicueta, James, Aina regardless of circumstance. Alonso/Emerson situation-dependent; sell Zappacosta, Kenedy, Rahman regardless.

 

Centre-backs:

This one is a lot more dependent on which of the variables come to fruition. Our senior options here are actually quite numerous: Rudiger, Cahill, Luiz, Christensen, Ampadu, Zouma, Tomori, Azpilicueta (back three). Rudiger has been excellent so far, he should be kept regardless of circumstance (Sarri, other manager, back four, back three, transfer/no transfer) as a nailed-on starter. Christensen, while he has a few issues (for example, I think he'd struggle playing in a balls-to-the-wall defensive setup) is young, talented, and enough of an asset that we should keep him around no matter what happens. Luiz is, of course, an enormously flawed albeit talented defender. In a back three he looks awesome, and his passing out of defence is surely among the best in the division. Sarri is clearly also a big fan - he has the sixth most minutes out of anybody in the squad - more even than Hazard. I personally have had enormous issues with Luiz, particularly in a back four, and particularly when receiving little to no protection from the midfield in Sarri's system. He is inconsistent and his decision-making sometimes touches on the utterly baffling. For a couple of seasons I have hoped that we would be moving towards replacing him with Christensen, however we seem even further from that than we were at the beginning of last season under Conte. For that reason, I would keep him for Sarri (the manager likes him), for a back three, but would hope that a new manager, particularly in a more reactive system, would be looking to move him on. If we are able to move in the transfer market, we should certainly be keeping our eyes open for a replacement.

Zouma and Cahill are largely in the same boat; not required by Sarri (and probably a poorer fit in a back three compared to some of our other options), but useful for a manager who might be looking to play more directly and keeping the defence deeper. Ampadu looks like a proper player - he is versatile and incredibly talented and mature (particularly for his age) - potentially a future Chelsea captain. He needs gametime though (there is little use allowing him to atrophy in the reserves), so if our new manager doesn't intend to use him regularly we should be looking to loan him out. Tomori has also been impressive although I would like to see him in the Premier League before we get him into the squad - it would be incredibly convenient for us should Derby win the play-offs (true also of Mason Mount)... Saying that, we may well need the numbers if we revert to a back three.

So a bit more convoluted:

Sarri: Keep Rudiger, Luiz, Christensen, Tomori/Ampadu if they will be used. Sell/loan Zouma; sell Cahill.

Reactive: Keep Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill, Zouma. Sell Luiz; loan Ampadu, Tomori.

Three-man: Keep Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, one of Tomori/Ampadu. Sell Zouma, Cahill.

 

Centre Midfielders:

Our numbers are actually quite impressive here, and there is in fact a fair amount of talent within those numbers, as well as a range of skillsets. It might be useful to go through them individually after assessing what we might need in each given circumstance. Sarri, as we already know, will play a midfield three with Jorginho at the base to circulate possession, Kanté basically doing everything, and a third man (theoretically) to link defence and attack, with three direct backups to each of those roles. I do wonder whether he will deem Lewis Baker to be an adequate backup for Jorginho; in theory he has the correct skillset (quick feet, two-footed, gifted passer, with seemingly everything else irrelevant), and can also take set pieces. Of course we have no idea what Sarri actually thinks and may well look to bring in his own man, assuming this is an option. Bakayoko and Drinkwater I think will have no future at the club under Sarri (again, £70m well spent...) If Sarri does stay, I wonder whether the midfield will look all that different from this season:

Sarri: Keep Jorginho, Baker (or a new signing if this is possible), Kanté, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic (again, if this is possible, otherwise presumably Mount). Loan Mount (potentially), Baker (potentially), Ampadu. Sell or loan Bakayoko; sell Drinkwater.

A manager looking to use midfield runners (presumably in a two-man pairing) will have a completely different idea of what he wants from the squad. Kanté of course is invaluable and irreplaceable and should be the first name on the teamsheet regardless of the situation (thank God he signed a new contract - surely the best news of the season). Bakayoko and Drinkwater suddenly become far more valuable (although the latter may be deemed to have burned his bridges with his off-pitch conduct, plus the unfortunate Bogarde comparisons), and the likes of Jorginho and Kovacic are suddenly surplus to requirements. I also question whether the likes of Barkley, Loftus-Cheek and Mount are particularly well-suited to a midfield two, although I would assume that Loftus-Cheek has such potential and is so beloved by the fans that he would also be kept regardless of circumstance. Oddly this may put Ampadu in a good position; he is versatile enough to play in a midfield two as well as in defence and may thus earn himself a place in the squad. Of course, similar to the above this makes £50m+ of player redundant... fantastic planning. Of course this is entirely hypothetical.

Runners: Keep Kanté, Bakayoko, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, possibly Drinkwater/Ampadu. Loan Mount, Baker. Sell/loan Jorginho, return Kovacic.

Of course this isn't to say that the new manager's style will be in total contrast to Sarri's. Our best bet with the assets we have is likely to maintain the midfield three, but with some tactical tweaks that don't leave the defence constantly and horribly exposed. We could still keep a place for Jorginho while mitigating against his weaknesses, while also getting the best out of Loftus-Cheek, Barkley and Mount, allowing them to make forward runs and contribute in the penalty area. Of course this would probably mean the end for Bakayoko, Drinkwater (who famously is incapable of playing in a midfield three) and Kovacic. I'm guessing this would also be the preference of the majority of Chelsea fans...

Three-man/other: Keep Kanté, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Barkley, possibly Ampadu. Sell Bakayoko, Drinkwater, Baker. Return Kovacic.

Of course if we have the option of upgrading on the likes of Barkley (for example), who is a decent squad player without being a world-beater, it should certainly be considered.

Note that I haven't included van Ginkel in any of these, simply because I have no idea what his situation is. His injury record does seem to be tending towards a horrible early retirement. Otherwise I would be curious to see what role he may have in the squad.

 

Wingers/Attacking Midfielders:

I largely addressed this in the Hazard point at the beginning, however there are a few more things to consider. Hudson-Odoi's injury has complicated this somewhat; I was quite happy with having Pedro and Willian as two options, as they have such distinct skillsets. With Hudson-Odoi's emergence (as well as the incoming Pulisic), Pedro's role as the closest thing in the squad to a 'pure' winger and a reliable source of goals looked increasingly under threat. All else being well I would have suggested that we sell Pedro and retain the other three. Of course now we know that Hudson-Odoi won't be available until after Christmas (at the earliest), Hazard is almost certainly leaving, the youth prospects in this position are ...somewhat lacking, and we may well not be able to sign any replacements.

If we are able to make transfers in the summer, I would say that this is one of the areas in which we should be looking to improve. We obviously have issues elsewhere in the squad, but overall for the most part have the quantity and variety of resources to create a functioning unit. This isn't necessarily the case here, especially if you think (as many do), that Willian and Pedro aren't good enough to be regular starters at Chelsea. In my opinion Willian has a unique skillset within the squad and we should keep him anyway, and if a new manager comes in who wants to play (for example) a 4-2-3-1 then Willian is the only player in the squad who can fill the role of a modern #10.

Of course, the board may be planning to spring a nice end-of-season surprise on us in the form of a bumper four-year deal for Hazard and then this all becomes irrelevant. A man can dream...

Keep: Pulisic, Willian, Hudson-Odoi, Pedro (if we cannot make new signings or if the manager is looking to play something like a 4-2-3-1);

Sell: Pedro (if we can make new signings), Kenedy, Brown, Musonda, Piazon.

 

Centre Forwards:

For the purposes of this I will assume that Morata is not an option as his loan runs until summer 2020. Strikers are (and Costa aside, have been for a while) our most famous problem area. We currently have four options, again, all with a unique skillset: Higuain, Giroud, Batshuayi, Abraham. I think ideally we would be looking to sign a new striker; if this is not an option then of course we have to work with what we've got.

Higuain is an odd one. I don't think his talents have particularly degenerated over time, more that he has struggled to adapt to an entirely new (more physical) league without a pre-season, in a side which was already underperforming, while trying to regain match fitness. His movement and finishing are still as good as ever; our chance creation through the centre has simply been underwhelming. I'd be curious to see how he performs with a full pre-season, under a manager with whom there is a good relationship and deep mutual understanding and respect. My main concern would be the level of financial investment (and potentially contract length) which would be required for a player who is already 31. Sarri would presumably look to keep hold of him, I don't know how another manager would respond. If we cannot sign any replacements, then we may have little choice, the only real alternative being to give Tammy Abraham the starting spot.

Giroud is, again, a player with a unique skillset, and one I think is useful to have in a squad regardless of style of play. He can hold up the ball and win headers better than anyone else in the squad. The recent comments he has made about wanting a regular starting spot are quite concerning, because realistically it isn't something we can give him (nor can he necessarily play more than 90 minutes per week anyway). Ideally, regardless of what decision we make regarding the starting spot, I would like to keep him as the 'alternate' option. If he is comfortable with that, brilliant. If not, then I suppose we ought to part ways, lest we have an unhappy player on our books. I don't think Giroud can realistically expect to be a consistent starter at a club of our [theoretical] level and ambition any longer.

I would very much like us to give Abraham a chance in our squad; he offers something different to Higuain and Giroud, somewhat more of an all-rounder than the other two, and a consistent goalscorer to boot. It would, of course, be a large risk to give him the starting spot as his only Premier League experience was with a Swansea side who were incredibly poor going forward, and who signed Wilfried Bony (an old club favourite) a month after loaning him in. I don't think he could have done a great deal more at Villa to earn a spot in our squad, and he also impressed me with his mentality and loyalty to the club when offered a Premier League loan deal in January. Regardless of circumstance, I think I would like us to integrate him into the squad with a view to him becoming our starting striker by the beginning of next season (assuming his performances are up to scratch of course). This would again be another homegrown player in the squad, and one who came from within our own youth team.

Batshuayi is an odd one. A succession of managers have turned their noses up at him, and I suppose it's not hard to see why. I think he is a good finisher with good movement, who may well thrive in a two-man strike partnership, but who I don't think will ever lead the line for a club of European standards (does he honestly look out of place at Crystal Palace?). I can't imagine any manager who is looking to play one up top will consider him as an option. It's probably time for us to sell him.

Keep regardless: Abraham

Keep if he is willing: Giroud

Keep under Sarri/if we are unable to sign replacements: Higuain

Keep if a new manager is looking to play two up front: Batshuayi

 

So overall I suppose it's not as bad as it could be. We have the core of a good, young squad which can thrive with the proper planning. If we carry on with our recent record of poor decision-making, we will inevitably continue our slide into irrelevance and mediocrity.

Granted, there are areas of the squad which have fairly serious deficiencies (left-back and front line in particular), but others are quite well-filled with a variety of options to fit a variety of potential styles. I think regardless of who comes in next season, and regardless of whether we can make additions to the squad there are a number of young players who should be included in the first-team squad (Kepa, James, Aina, Christensen, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham), with a number of others waiting in the wings (Ampadu, Tomori, Mount, Baker), which will be a long-awaited first step towards creating a direct route into the first team for our young players, and will hopefully prevent the kind of situation we are beginning to see where the likes of Solanke and Hudson-Odoi are reluctant to stick around due to a lack of faith in the club.

Realistically we are not going to be able to compete at the top with our current players; whether we look towards developing the young players we have, we look towards greater and better-planned investment in the squad, or (more realistically) a combination of the two, but we have the beginnings of a good thing. Properly developed, we could be back at or near the top within a few seasons. The priority is to create proper continuity.

Ultimately the decisions we make in the immediate term are very largely going to be governed by circumstance. I sincerely hope this is a lesson to us going forward, that joined-up thinking and long-term planning are the way to go, rather than blindly (and unsuccessfully) groping around for immediate success. This was an option in the past, and one which worked well for us, but now we cannot simply rely on out-spending our opposition, and rely on Chelsea being a more attractive destination than all but a handful of clubs in Europe, we have no choice but to change tack if we want to remain a top side.

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Ideal summer if transfer ban is frozen

Sell:

  1. Defenders - Zappa (15m), Cahill (0), Luiz (0), Alonso (20m), Rahman (10m), Zouma (25m) (Sorry Kurt), Aina (15m)
  2. Mids - Baka (35m), Drinkwater (20m), Barkley (25m), Moses (10m)      
  3. Forwards - Morata (50m), Giroud (0), Michy (35m) & Higuain (Sent back) 

+ Some players from loan army if new rules are coming into place soon.

Total: 260m

I have just guessed at amounts. No idea how much we'd get.

Bring back from loan:

James, Tammy, Mount*

Buy: 

A LB: Alex Telles or someone similar. Maybe Mendy from Lyon (£40m)

A CB: Romagnoli (£60m)

Versatile midfielder: Barella (£40m)

Attacking midfielder: Bruno Fernandes (if Mount goes out on loan again) (£60m)

Winger: Pepe (£60m)

Striker: Jovic (£60m)

Total: £320m

Squad

GK: Kepa, Bulka, Willy

LB: Telles, Emerson

CB: Romagnoli, Christensen, Rudi, Ampadu

RB: Azpi, James

Midfield 6 Position:  Jorginho, Barella

Midfield 8 Position: Kante, **

Midfield 10 Position: Bruno Fernandes/Mount, RLC

LW: CHO, Pulisic

ST: Jovic, Tammy

RW: Pepe, Pedro

None Homegrown: 14

Homegrown: 3

U21: 6

Disclaimer: I am under no illusion we would be able to sign all those players, but you catch my drift that we need upgrades on the players we currently have. They will also all be very expensive but we should make A LOT of money from clearing out all the deadwood.

** We would be short by one midfielder and while I think Kovacic is a tidy player I think Real will want too much for him. Could Reuben play the 8 position?

Own investment needed: £60m. Could be negated by bringing back Mount and not buying an AM.

Special mentions to Tomori & DaSilva. I hear they're doing really well in the Championship but I have no idea if they're at the level to step up and i'd be a little worried about DaSilva's size for a full back (knowing how paranoid PL managers get about set pieces). I think we need leaders and that's why i've gone for Romagnoli at CH.

Other player recommendations welcome and maybe ones you think are more realistic. Clearly CL football will help us obtain the top level players.

 

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GKs - No change

Fullbacks - Overhaul. Replace every single fullback apart from Azpi who can be converted into a CB.

Centre backs - Overhaul. Sell Luiz, replace him with a top class CB.

Midfield - I feel we are only 1 or 2 signings away from a very good midfield.

Wingers - Overhaul. Sell every winger (Hazard is off anyway) and sign 2/3 wingers.

Striker - Keep Higuain or Giroud as a back up and sign another striker *sigh*

Too much to do.

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23 hours ago, JMaher94 said:

Azpilicueta isn't a very good fullback, we need to upgrade on him next season. Over the years, he's been very good for us but I think his limitations are actually shown at full back. Lack of pace, poor crosser of the ball near the byline and has declined defensively of late (which used to be his forte). We desperately need to improve our flanks next season in order for us to compete.

Kovacic is hopeless, aimless dribbles and sideways passing. Send back to Madrid, asap.

A lot of that comes down to how Sarri wants the team to play.

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8 hours ago, dansubrosa said:

GKs - No change

Fullbacks - Overhaul. Replace every single fullback apart from Azpi who can be converted into a CB.

Centre backs - Overhaul. Sell Luiz, replace him with a top class CB.

Midfield - I feel we are only 1 or 2 signings away from a very good midfield.

Wingers - Overhaul. Sell every winger (Hazard is off anyway) and sign 2/3 wingers.

Striker - Keep Higuain or Giroud as a back up and sign another striker *sigh*

Too much to do.

Spot on.

Fullbacks and a striker need to be our biggest priority.

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On 22/04/2019 at 13:58, TomCFC85 said:

A friend of mine got me thinking about the amount of deadwood in our squad,
Feel free to reply with your own
(Hazard isn't on because I think his future is already decided)
 In my opinion:

Keep at all costs:
Hudson-Odoi
Kante
Christensen
Kepa
Rudiger

Preferably Stay unless an amazing offer comes in:
Jorginho
Luiz
Azpi
Emerson
Giroud
Pedro
Willy

Sell:
Alonso
Willian
Drinkwater
Zappacosta
Barkley
Cahill
 

Barkley??

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On 22/04/2019 at 13:58, TomCFC85 said:

A friend of mine got me thinking about the amount of deadwood in our squad,
Feel free to reply with your own
(Hazard isn't on because I think his future is already decided)
 In my opinion:

Keep at all costs:
Hudson-Odoi
Kante
Christensen
Kepa
Rudiger

Preferably Stay unless an amazing offer comes in:
Jorginho
Luiz
Azpi
Emerson
Giroud
Pedro
Willy

Sell:
Alonso
Willian
Drinkwater
Zappacosta
Barkley
Cahill
 

Start with the manager, then work down the squad.

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22 hours ago, PloKoon13 said:

Bakayoko and Drinkwater suddenly become far more valuable

Helluva write up... I would say that in the case of Bakayoko, it's not going to be up to us. AC Milan holds his option, and I'll be SHOCKED if they don't pick it up. The good news is that we'll get a full refund on him. The bad news is that's he's a really good player in the right system that we'll miss out on. I think he's most like Kante without the motor, but better in aerial duels, and we already have Kante.

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20 hours ago, dansubrosa said:

GKs - No change

Fullbacks - Overhaul. Replace every single fullback apart from Azpi who can be converted into a CB.

Centre backs - Overhaul. Sell Luiz, replace him with a top class CB.

Midfield - I feel we are only 1 or 2 signings away from a very good midfield.

Wingers - Overhaul. Sell every winger (Hazard is off anyway) and sign 2/3 wingers.

Striker - Keep Higuain or Giroud as a back up and sign another striker *sigh*

Too much to do.

I can't see Azpi as a CB unless in a three, just not tall enough defensively, otherwise good points.

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On the subject of joined-up thinking (or a lack thereof), here is some food for thought: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/apr/25/manchester-united-derby-city-ole-gunnar-solskjaer

They [Manchester City] are what happens when you take vast sums of money – and let’s for now ignore concerns about the source and whether that money has been spent within Uefa regulations – and use it to overhaul the entire infrastructure and ethos of a club. Long before he arrived, City had been built on Guardiola principles. This sort of consistency, this implacable pursuit of the title, is what a holistic approach, every department following the same basic philosophy to the same goal, can bring.

United’s patched up mish-mash of a squad, their skipping between managers of different types and different approaches, their leaking roof, is what happens when decisions are being made by people with little football expertise, appointing famous names almost at random in the hope of stumbling on a messiah, while doing nothing to upgrade the infrastructure. Solskjær might get the whole squad to sit down and watch the X-Files with a bottle of Two Dogs while worrying about the millennium bug, but reliving the 90s won’t get beyond United’s basic lack of long-term planning.

City show the way, show what planned investment can achieve – and that is why, for now, for the first time since perhaps the 1930s it is they who are definitively the dominant force in Manchester.

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I see similarities between us and Utd both have been relatively recently successful both have had a rapid succession of managers and both have a mishmash of squads. 

The City example may be the ideal yet is it something that can be emulated as the understanding is the football generated revenue has not paid for this yet other source of revenue have. 

 

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