Chelsea’s XI next season had they not sold four players including ‘next Didier Drogba’

Thomas Tuchel reviews Chelsea win against Boro

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As Chelsea’s future begins to take shape, tentative summer transfer plans should start to take shape for the Londoners as we head into the final third of the Premier League season. The Blues are out of the title race but they are still bidding to retain their Champions League crown.

With a top-four finish all but assured, focus will turn to next season. After looking like genuine title contenders prior to an unprecedented injury crisis, Thomas Tuchel will be desperate to end Manchester City’s monopoly at the top of English football – however, he may have to cut his cloth accordingly in the summer depending on who is successful in the race to purchase the Blues.

With that in mind, Chelsea could look to integrate some of their fledgling loan stars into next season’s squad. The likes of Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja have impressed and could make an impact next year – but what about some of the other fringe players that the Blues have offloaded over the past few years?

Just days after Tammy Abraham was tipped to return to English football and make a similar impact to Didier Drogba by Pat Nevin, Express Sport takes a look at how Chelsea could have lined up next year if the likes of Abraham were still around in SW6…

Goalkeeper – Edouard Mendy

One player whose spot in Chelsea’s team is seemingly assured is Mendy. The Senegalese shot-stopper has been sensational for the Blues since he arrived at Stamford Bridge. He’s continued his strong form this season, keeping 18 clean sheets across 35 games to cement his spot as the Londoners No 1.

Defence – Fikayo Tomori, Thiago Silva, Marc Guehi

With concerns over Antonio Rudiger, the Blues will be looking on enviously at Tomoro and Guehi. Both have thrived since leaving the Londoners. Tomori has emerged as an integral player for AC Milan as they hunt down the Serie A title, while Guehi’s imperious displays at Crystal Palace have catapulted him into Gareth Southgate’s England plans.

Had things worked out differently, the homegrown duo could have been linking up alongside Silva next year to form a commanding three-man defensive unit; instead, Chelsea are likely to be in the market for defensive reinforcements in the summer.

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Midfield – Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ola Aina

It’s worth pointing out that Reece James has been one of Chelsea’s most influential players this season, but the decision to sell Tino Livramento in the summer is already looking like a mistake. On the other flank, Ben Chilwell’s injury struggles would have opened the door for Aina.

The Blues academy graduate was shipped out permanently back in 2019 after a string of loan spells and has finally found a home at Torino, where he’s currently thriving. With Aina and James providing the width either side of Kante and Kovacic, the Blues would have been well-stocked in midfield.

Attack – Kai Havertz, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount

While Romelu Lukaku has struggled since his club-record £97.5million return to the club, Abraham has been flying in Rome for AS Roma. The 24-year-old has plundered 23 goals in a remarkable debut campaign and has been tipped to return to the Premier League by Nevin. If the Blues had stood firm and backed their academy graduate, then the potent forward could have been the focal point of a three-pronged attack with Havertz and Mount next year.

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