Chelsea may currently be the champions of England and retain a good chance of winning both the Champions League and FA Cup this season, but their torrid league campaign surely means that big changes are afoot at Stamford Bridge this summer and depending on what kind of a mood Roman Abramovich is in, there may well be a revamp and revolution of the current squad set to take place.
Players like Gary Cahill, John Terry, Pedro Rodriguez, Loic Remy, and Radamel Falcao are all expected to be moved on after the current campaign while there are doubts cast over the futures of Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, and Diego Costa with rumours linking them with moves elsewhere having already begun. There are others too as it appears that close to none of the senior players who were part of last year's championship winning squad, apart from perhaps Willian and Oscar, seem to have a 100% certain future at the club as things stand.
But not everything has been doom and gloom for Chelsea this year. The arrival of Guus Hiddink as interim manager has seen more youngsters getting a run in the side than they did under Jose Mourinho with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore, and Kenedy getting their opportunities to shine now with the league all but over for the Blues. There's also the likes of Baba Rahman and brand new signing Matt Miazga present and itching to get playing time, while Kurt Zouma is the most proven of all having played a significant part in each of Chelsea's last two seasons and previously for Saint-Etienne prior to his move to England.
Whilst Chelsea are heavily likely to open their cheque books come the summer, they may be able to find some replacements for outgoing players from within with all the talent in their current squad and out on loan. Aside from the aforementioned names above, players like Ola Aina, Kasey Palmer, Charly Musonda, and Tammy Abraham from their youth ranks seem very promising and worth taking a much closer look at. The likes of Lewis Baker, Andreas Christensen, Nathan Ake, Tomas Kalas, and Mario Pasalic are doing well on loan elsewhere, while Nathaniel Chalobah and Marco van Ginkel, despite not enjoying plenty of football at the moment, are still considered talented enough to play a role at the club in the future.
A lot also depends on who Abramovich will appoint as the team's new permanent manager at the end of Hiddink's short rein and how willing the new boss will be to give the abundance of youth a chance to prove themselves rather than overspend in today's inflated market to look for solutions.
Whichever route Chelsea decide to go in the end, there are positives to gain from either approach and one that should see them build a healthier long term future as they'll look to build on their recent successes by being a regular competitor for the Premier League and Champions League titles, something they haven't been since Mourinho's first spell at the club almost a decade ago.
In the past decade, Chelsea may have clinched both the Champions League and Europa League, but they've won just two Premier League titles and were not even challengers for the league in 2008/09, 10/11, 11/12 and 12/13, and again this year.
In Europe's elite club competition, the West Londoners used to be regularly amongst the last four but have only reached that stage twice since the Barcelona semi-final in 2009.
They're not frequently at the standards they used to be in those competitions, and despite holding the domestic trophy aloft less than 12 months ago, they need to find improvement so they can repeatedly be fighting for silverware in a bid to quench Abramovich's insatiable appetite.
By Edin Halilovic
Need a VPN? Or seeking to switch? Then support Tribal Football by clicking here to sign up with our official partners NordVPN. Not only will you receive the best VPN experience, but also great discounts by signing up via Tribal Football. Thanks for your support!