THE CHALLENGERS FOR THE ENGLISH THRONE? HOW DOES THE SIGNATURES OF LUKAKU AND KOUNDE SOLVE TUCHEL'S AND CHELSEA'S PROBLEMS?
The departure of pre-season friendlies marks the arrival of a world-class summer of European football. With the English Premier League knocking on the door, the shopping time for teams’ is exhausting with each passing minute. One club that is known for splashing big bucks in the transfer window is Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. The revamped Blues needed a complete turnaround last season after their train fell off the track under inexperienced manager Frank Lampard. But Tuchel’s tactics and managerial wizardry saw them conquer the Champions League. With the Blues bidding approximately 115 million pounds for Romelu Lukaku and constantly pursuing Jules Kounde, it’s crucial to find out how Chelsea could lineup under Thomas Tuchel after the arrivals.
Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, confirmed and here we go! The agreement is set to be completed after further talks. €115m to Inter and no players included. Paperworks to be signed once details are fixed. 🔵🤝 #CFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 7, 2021
The Blues are quite close to capturing the signatures of Romelu Lukaku and Jules Kounde. Sevilla’s centre-back rose into fame, a summer ago and has gone strength to strength in Spain. But with Sevilla looking to make a few bucks off Kounde’s current form, The French defender could bolster Tuchel’s backline this summer. While Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea have a long history.
Romelu Lukaku will be soon in London to sign his contract as new Chelsea player. Work in progress to plan for travel, medical and unveiling next week. 🔵🇧🇪 #CFC
After Lukaku, Chelsea will focus on next signing – Koundé always favourite option as centre back but not agreed yet.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 7, 2021
The Belgian’s chronicle started at the English giants, and now Serie-A’s lethal striker is preparing for a comeback to England. With Chelsea spending millions for the duo’s signature, we at FootTheBall take a look at how Chelsea could line up once Kounde and Lukaku put pen-to-paper.
HOW DOES CHELSEA LINEUP?
The favourable thing for the German manager is that a few players in the Blues’ squad are immovable and Tuchel doesn’t have to ponder about dropping them onto the bench. Kepa’s bizarre performances opened the doors for Eduaord Mendy, and the Senegalese goalkeeper has been a show-stopper at Stamford Bridge. Setting up a record of most clean-sheets in a debut season in the Champions League last summer, Tuchel will expect Mendy to guard Chelsea’s goal like a wall.
In his debut Champions League campaign, Édouard Mendy has equalled the competition record for most clean sheets kept in a single season.
🔵 12 games
🔵 9 clean sheets
🔵 3 goals conceded
🔵 1 trophy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 29, 2021
The three centre-backs would be Jules Kounde, Thiago Silva, and Antonio Rudiger. Silva and Rudiger once again belong to the irreplaceable category while Kounde could easily march into the lineup at Chelsea. The midfield at Stamford Bridge would consist of Jorginho and Kante with Chilwell and Azpilicueta being the darting full-backs seeded just in front of the three centre-backs in the lineup at Chelsea.
The attacking flamboyance would be added by English midfielder and Chelsea’s homegrown boy Mason Mount who would have a steaming Kai Havertz on his right. The German midfielder scored pivotal goals last summer but would look to increase his goal and assist tally this campaign. Finally to cap off Tuchel’s star-studded lineup Romelu Lukaku would be seen leading the attack for Chelsea. The Inter Milan striker was in formidable form last summer, something he would like to replicate in this campaign as well.
TUCHEL’S FAVORITE (3-4-2-1)
Rudiger, Silva, and Kounde;
Chillwell, Jorginho, Kante, and Azpilicueta;
Mount, and Havertz;
The only thing that would have given Thomas Tuchel nightmares last summer was Timo Werner’s form in front of the goal. The German was heavily trolled for missing opportunities you would expect him to slot home with a blindfold on. But with Romelu Lukaku being unimaginably close to joining the Blues, Tuchel’s worries could take a step back.
Inter Milan will receive €115 million 🔵
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) August 7, 2021
Tuchel’s midfield consists of a combination of great attacking and defensive assets. Chilwell and Azpilicueta would be given the crossing duty while Jorginho and Kante could prevent counter-attacks. Chelsea’s captain and Spanish defender, Cesar Azpilicueta could be given a hint of freedom with Kounde’s addition to the Blues. While Ben Chilwell marched his way into the Blues’ eleven and has since gone from strength to strength. With an iconic performance against Los Blancos’ fiery forward battery and a disallowed goal to almost seal the FA Cup, Chilwell could be the silent assassin in Tuchel’s army.
What a group. One more game. pic.twitter.com/FwBZYsqxnR
— Ben Chilwell (@BenChilwell) July 7, 2021
Record signing Kai Havertz and Chelsea’s household name Mason Mount could fabricate their wizardry in the middle of the park without actually needing to constantly fall back. Tuchel’s lineup is filled with defensive mindset players which could give the required freedom to Mount and Havertz to rack up numerous goals and assist under their belt. Mount gives Chelsea a 3-4-1-2 look but if the Blues need the British midfielder to help out his backline, Tuchel’s squad are turned into a 3-5-2.
Leading the line would be one of the deadliest strikers in the world. Before the Euro 2020 kick-off Pundits had predicted that the Belgium poacher could finish top of the pile in terms of goals-scored. And although Cristiano Ronaldo bagged that award, the Inter striker would be starving for goals when he arrives at the Bridge.
THE SAFE OPTION (3-5-2)
Rudiger, Silva, and Kounde;
Chillwell, Jorginho, Kante, Mount, and Azpilicueta;
Lukaku, and Werner;
Tuchel’s game is all about keeping, recycling and storing possession throughout the 90 minutes of the game. Under the German, the Blues averaged 455.5 passes in the opposition’s half last summer, while the number was 428.6 under club legend Frank Lampard. When Chelsea dominate the ball, their players have a swagger about themselves and they could rip apart any defence. Beating Pep Guardiola thrice in the span of a month, either Chelsea has fortune on their side or Tuchel’s has instilled the winning mentality in the players at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel has impressed Romelu Lukaku with his plans and he feels like he can score a lot of goals under his management ( Matt Law – Telegraph ) pic.twitter.com/N4S0JRktyU
— Pys (@CFCPys) August 4, 2021
If the Blues lock horns with tougher opponents or are put under pressure by any outfit, Tuchel exhibited last summer that Chelsea are well prepared to turn themselves into a 3-5-2. With Azpilicueta reaching the twilight of his career, Three Lions’ right-back Reece James could be seen leading the defensive line. The defender is well equipped with the ability to strongly terminate the opposition charge while himself creating jaw-dropping opportunities.
The hard work continues. 🏋️👊 pic.twitter.com/tGs7ElfcVK
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 7, 2021
Marcos Alonso has been a long-serving disciple for the Blues and after his exile under Lampard, the Spaniard was given opportunities when Tuchel arrived. Although a world-class defender, Alonso might not be the protagonist of Thomas Tuchel’s roadmap. The centre-back trio doesn’t need tinkering with, and neither does the duo of Jorginho and Kante. Although Kovacic could present a strong case for himself. The 4 times Champions League winner has a whopping 91 per cent pass completion rate and could be the perfect secondary for either Jorgino or Kante.
Mason Mount could support his defence when Chelsea opted for the 3-5-2 with Havertz and Lukaku steaming forward. If the Blues field two strikers from the start, Lukaku could be seen teaming up with German poacher Timo Werner. Tuchel has other options if any of them falter in England’s top-flight. Hakim Ziyech still waits for an opportunity while Christian Pulisic, USA’s golden-generations torch-bearer is prepared for a mouth-watering summer in England.
THE ATTACKING OPTION (4-4-2)
Rudiger, Silva, Kounde, and Azpilicueta;
Pulisic, Jorginho, Kante, and Mount;
Lukaku, and Werner;
In the recently concluded preseason, Thomas Tuchel opted for a 4-4-2 lineup for Chelsea. Although it’s different from his tactics of last summer, it could be the German manager’s attempt to fit Lukaku and Werner in the same eleven.
During his tenure at RB Leipzig, the German striker played as second-striker, feeding off scraps left by the defenders or the goalkeeper, smashing tons of goals. When he arrived at Stamford Bridge, Werner was asked to lead Chelsea’s forward battery, throwing him into unknown surroundings. Romelu Lukaku could be given the target-man role with Werner being close waiting to pounce on opportunities. If Chelsea goes all-guns-blazing, Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham could be competing for a spot in case of either’s absence.
— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) July 13, 2021
The midfield will rarely change whatever formation the German chooses at the Bridge this summer. Kante, Jorginho, and Mount are confirmed starters with Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, and Pulisic fighting for the last spot. Until and unless Mount suffers a miserable downfall, he is sure to start in the lineup for Chelsea.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 13, 2021
The defensive structure would consist of Kounde and Silva cementing the centre-back role with Azpilicueta and Rudiger defining the full-back role. While Mendy would be seen guarding Chelsea’s frame like a superhero.