How Chelsea could look if Marina Granovskaia completes Erling Haaland and Achraf Hakimi transfers
Having led the squad he inherited from Frank Lampard to the Champions League title in 2020/21, Tuchel will now get the chance to mould the squad he wants having been tied down to the club for another two years following the announcement of his extension last week.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich is expected to back Tuchel in the transfer market this summer with funds in what is, in reality, expected to be a quiet window with the purse strings of many clubs hit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As expected, Chelsea have been linked with some stunning swoops over the next couple of months as they look to build on their Champions League-winning squad and bring a halt to Man City’s domestic dominance.
Erling Haaland is the big one and Chelsea are keen to secure his services but, then again, who wouldn’t? The Borussia Dortmund star is not expected to go for anything less than £150million this summer and would also absolutely smash Chelsea’s wage structure at the same time.
Inter Milan defender Achraf Hakimi is another player that has been rumoured to be of interest to Tuchel and Chelsea. Inter won the Serie A title last season but have lost manager Antonio Conte, who has walked out on the club.
Hakimi set to cost any potential suitors around £55million this summer and Paris St Germain have also been credited with an interest in the Moroccan star.
Chelsea’s Champions League success has made them an even more attractive proposition to potential new recruits than they already were, added to the lure of working with a world class and trophy-winning coach in Tuchel, the state-of-the-art Cobham training ground, being in London, it all adds up.
It will be down to director Marina Granovskaia and technical director Petr Cech to try and fulfil the ambitions of Tuchel and also of Abramovich, who can get a player if he really wants him.
Moves for Haaland and Hakimi would leave Chelsea’s squad stacked with remarkable talent heading into the 2021/22 season but how on earth can Tuchel fit all of the starts he might have at his disposal into one starting eleven?
Well, we have tried and come up with a few formations but, as expected, some established players have had to be left out.
If Tuchel sticks with the formation that he has employed for all of his tenure in west London so far then that is arguably the best way to get two new faces in Haaland and Hakimi in.
But it does mean leaving out one of his three key centre backs over the last six months in either Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Ruidger or Thiago Silva as Reece James would have to move into a right centre back role to accommodate Hakimi.
The midfield duo of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante would remain in place and then there is the obvious pick of Mason Mount in the forward line.
Alongside him would be Kai Havertz and Haaland which is a strike pairing that would be one of the best in the world, especially if Havertz continues his fine end of season form. But that does mean there is no space for Timo Werner in this formation.
Again, this formation would mean a defender would have to make way from the centre. For this one we have brought influential skipper Azpilicueta back in but it is at the expense of Thiago Silva, with James once again occupying the right centre back position.
Hakimi and Ben Chilwell would be the wing-backs/deep wingers with extra onus on Kante, not that he can’t do the job of two players anyway with Jorginho missing out.
This formation can also get Werner in alongside Haaland, while still keeping Mount and Havertz in the side.
It’s incredibly attacking and the defenders might have to get through a lot of work, especially if Kante gets breached.
Now then. If Tuchel decides to switch to a four-man defence then this is how it could look, with Hakimi essentially playing as a right winger.
Once again, a centre back has to make way if we are to keep Azpilicueta in the lineup as well as James, Mount and Havertz.
Also again, Kante will have to get through an awful lot of work in this formation but if anyone can do it then it is most-certainly Chelsea’s truly world class midfielder.
It all looks a bit chaotic if Tuchel wants to try and squeeze in two potential new additions to his side as they plot an assault on the Premier League title next season.
Some key players in the Champions League-winning run would almost certainly have to make way if both Haaland and Hakimi arrive and that could lead to a few problems for Tuchel.
However, the German has shown that he has the ability to keep his squad happy, for the most part anyway and that he also isn’t afraid to switch things up for certain opponents.
We saw enough times last season that the German can make tactical tweaks to suit a certain opponent and there is nothing to suggest that will change in 2021/22.