It’s been a pretty good summer for Thomas Tuchel. The German has had four weeks to enjoy his impressive first six months at Chelsea.
Fresh off his Champions League triumph with Chelsea, the German is entering the 2021-2022 season with hopes of taking on a serious challenge for Manchester City.
But there is still enough for the manager to train and improve for the new season.
Thomas Tuchel hopes to take on a challenge with Premier League champions Manchester City
The Blues occasionally struggled for goals under Tuchel last season, with Timo Werner taking the brunt of criticism of his failed attackers.
He will want his side to become more ruthless in front of goal if they pose a serious threat to City’s Premier League title.
There is also the matter of clearing some players who have no future at Stamford Bridge and bringing in new faces to join the squad.
With just under two weeks left until Chelsea’s first game against Crystal Palace on August 14, Sports post looks at what Tuchel needs to do to get his team ready for the new campaign.
GET WERNER FIRE
As for the confidence boost, winning the Champions League is sure to cheer Timo Werner up after a scorching debut campaign in England.
Werner, a £53million signing from RB Leipzig, often cut a dejected, isolated figure with no confidence last season, with the 25-year-old some distance from displaying the talent that convinced Chelsea to pay big bucks for him.
Werner scored 12 goals in all competitions last season, but only four of those came in 2021, with the striker going through a barren goal drought.
The fact that the Blues are looking for a new big striker, twelve months after Werner’s landing, paints a sad picture of the German’s time at the club.
Timo Werner had a difficult first season at Chelsea and will be looking for more goals this season
Thomas Tuchel has long supported Werner to ‘seize the moment’ and find his goalscorer again and the Blues boss will recognize he has a part to play in Werner’s rebirth.
Both Tuchel and his predecessor, Frank Lampard, struggled to figure out what position Werner thrives in, with the German being used through the middle and on the flanks.
Last season he contributed with 15 assists, but it is goals that will make Chelsea bonafide title challengers and Tuchel must ensure that his compatriot goes in the ground – otherwise Werner’s patience will soon run out.
DRAW BACK A NEW CENTER
Tuchel’s sensational six months in charge at Chelsea can be attributed to his squad’s newfound defensive prowess.
In just a few weeks, the German transformed his squad’s rear from a leaky mess into a tough and organized group, with the leadership of Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva helping to keep things afloat at the back.
But Tuchel could further strengthen his options as a centre-back. Silva is 36 and won’t be able to play every game, while Andreas Christensen has also had injury problems.
The Blues are looking to bring in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde with the clubs having negotiated a £50m deal that would see Kurt Zouma leave for Spain as a makeweight.
But, as reported by Sports post, Zouma would rather stay in the Premier League which could throw a spanner in the works.
Should a move collapse for Kounde, Tuchel would be forced to look at other options, but time is running out for the new season.
The Blues want to sign a central defender and Jules Kounde from Sevilla (pictured) is their number 1 target
ERASE THE DEAD WOOD
Chelsea have already seen several players leave this summer.
Olivier Giroud joined Fikayo Tomori at AC Milan, while Billy Gilmour will spend the season at Norwich to gain some more first-team experience.
But there are several players with no future at Stamford Bridge who will have to leave Tuchel to trim his bloated squad.
Danny Drinkwater, who has not played for the club in three years, is one of the players who has little chance of making his way into the fray. The midfielder spent the second half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Kasimpasa in Turkey.
The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley, who were both out on loan to the Blues last season, are more likely to turn their fortunes around.
Danny Drinkwater (above) is one of many players who will not play for Chelsea this season
Lewis Baker (left) and Jake Clarke-Salter (right) have both had multiple loan spells and are unlikely to force their way into the first team
Barkley started his spell at Villa well but faded towards the end of the season after struggling with an injury midway through the season.
There are other fringe players such as Lewis Baker, Matt Miazga and Jake Clarke-Salter and Davide Zappacosta, who have had 19 loan spells, that the club hopes to continue.
The Blues will try to get compensation for those who will generate more interest in reinvesting the funds to strengthen their team.
MAKE HIS ATTACK PACELESS
One of the main problems Tuchel faced when he took the job at Chelsea was managing their defence.
The German made his team difficult to beat, but they could sometimes miss a clinical lead.
Jorginho finished the season as the club’s top scorer with seven goals – all from the penalty spot.
It wasn’t just Werner who made a mistake, Kai Havertz was also guilty of wasting opportunities, while the Blues sometimes found it difficult to separate teams.
Chelsea want their forwards to be more ruthless in front of goal, but Kai Havertz should go into the new season with confidence.
However, Havertz seems to be feeling more and more at home in a Chelsea shirt. The 22-year-old scored three goals in his last five games of last season and secured the winner in the Champions League final.
He also scored twice for German at Euro 2020 and was on target in the Blues’ pre-season win over Arsenal 2-1. He should go into the new season with a lot of confidence.
Christian Pulisic has finally had the benefit of a full pre-season, which should help him get off to a faster start to this season.
Tammy Abraham’s future is uncertain, but if he is to stay at Stamford Bridge, he too will have to be more ruthless in front of goal.
Tuchel may be able to bring in a new striker before the end of the transfer window, but there is already a lot of talent in his squad if they can start taking more of their chances.
TAKE A CHALLENGE TO THE CITY
Tuchel outsmarted Pep Guardiola three times last season. In the league, in the FA Cup semi-finals and especially in the Champions League final.
But it will be difficult to win Manchester City’s Premier League title, especially if Guardiola can add Jack Grealish and Harry Kane to his roster.
After winning the Champions League in May, Tuchel’s goal should close the gap with City at the top of the rankings.
Chelsea finished 19 points below the champions last season and only managed to reach the top four on the final day.
Manchester United and Liverpool will also try to close the gap with City. United have bolstered their squad by signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, while Liverpool signed Ibrahima Konate.
Chelsea have yet to make an important purchase with third-choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli the only new addition. Tuchel will not be looking to catch up early in the season and will likely need to make more purchases before the end of the transfer window.
Tuchel outsmarted Pep Guardiola three times last season but now wants to challenge his team at the top of the table