Chelsea suffered a damaging 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday to leave a bitter taste to what has been an impressive league campaign. The Blues were complacent against Arsene Wenger’s men, a fact that would not be lost on manager, Antonio Conte.
The Italian profited from his players not playing in the Champions League this season, meaning he had more time to work with his players, and the players had more time to recover in between matches.
The likes of Mikel, Ivanovic and Oscar were sold in January, and Chelsea will need to strengthen if they are to compete on all fronts next season. We take a look at their probable lineup for next season.
Thibaut Courtois has been phenomenal this season, winning The Golden Glove for the first time. He is set for a bumper pay rise this summer to ward off interest from Real Madrid.
The 3-4-3 has been instrumental in Chelsea’s ascent to the league. However, there is a weak link in the space between the right hand side of the defence, and Virgil Van Dijk is being mooted by Conte to plug in the holes. Alongside him in the centre of defence, David Luiz and Gary Cahill habe impressed this season, and should keep their places next season.
In the left wing back role, the presence of Marcos Alonso has helped balance both going forward while on the right, Cesar Azpilicueta should edge this ahead of Victor Moses as the Spaniard is simply too good to be on the bench. In the center of midfield, Tiemoue Bakayoko is wanted by Conte to offer even more steel into the midfield, throwing the future of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic into question. N’Golo Kante will even get better next season.
The Trident of Hazard, Pedro and Diego Costa have been phenomenal this season, but Costa is reportedly keen on a move to Atletico Madrid. The 28-year-old striker scored 20 times to propel the Blues to their 2nd title in 3 years, but is still not happy with life in England.
Romelu Lukaku is wanted by the Chelsea hierarchy to replace him. Hazard is wanted by Madrid, but should stay to sign a new deal while Pedro will only kick on following what has been a superb second season for the former Barcelona man.