What will happen to Chelsea Football Club?
That’s the question everyone is asking on Thursday after it was revealed that the owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned.
The answer? Well, nobody really knows.
Chelsea can still play football.
But there are a lot of things they can’t do anymore like selling tickets, merchandise or signing/selling players.
It’s unclear how long Chelsea will remain in this paralyzed state.
Although there are bigger things going on right now, Chelsea fans will only care about how their team performs. And in what state they will be in the short term.
So we speculated on what Chelsea’s starting XI could look like next season.
With the inability to sign players – or offer a player a new contract – it seems very likely that Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta will leave this summer with their current contracts expiring.
Although there will be no new entrants unless the situation changes, the club will benefit from not being able to sell players.
This is because Connor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour, Armando Broja and Michy Batshuayi among others will return to the club after their loan spells.
This means the Blues could actually go into the 2022/23 season with a pretty solid squad despite the uncertainty. Their strongest XI might look a bit like this:
Chelsea’s potential XI for the 2022/23 season
It’s definitely not a bad XI, is it?
Edouard Mendy – arguably the best goalkeeper in the world – is still between the sticks.
Of course, with Rudiger, Christensen and Azpilicueta leaving the club, Chelsea are going to be short defensively and playing a back five would be difficult. Fortunately, Thiago Silva has already signed a one-year contract extension and Trevor Chalobah has shown he is capable of competing at this level and would form a decent partnership with Ben Chilwell and Reece James on either side of them.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante will remain in midfield alongside the impressive Gallagher, who is enjoying a fine campaign at Crystal Palace.
Kai Havertz and Mason Mount are in attacking roles alongside Broja, who gets the nod ahead of Romelu Lukaku.
That still leaves Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, Malang Sarr, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Gilmour, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech and Batshuayi on the bench.
It remains to be seen whether Thomas Tuchel will remain coach or not.
Fortunately, the club spent as much as last summer…