How Chelsea should spend their £150m transfer budget this summer

14 May 2021 06:00

Chelsea stole the show in the transfer market last summer, and it looks like owner Roman Abramovich wants to do the same again this year.

The Russian is set to give Thomas Tuchel a transfer budget of around £150m to help him fine-tune his squad ahead of a push for the Premier League title next season.

There are a few holes in the squad which need addressing, so here's a look at how Tuchel should spend his money.


Who should Chelsea buy this summer?

Striker

Romelu Lukaku is a top target | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

For all Chelsea's attacking talent, they're still lacking that out-and-out goalscorer who can take them to the next level. Nobody in blue has scored 20 Premier League goals since Diego Costa in 2016/17, and that's not good enough for a team trying to become the best on the planet.

Dortmund's Erling Haaland would be nice here, but he'd cost that entire £150m - so he's off the table. Inter's Romelu Lukaku at closer to £100m isn't the worst shout, but again, that's a mega amount of money.

Antonio Conte is known to be keen on a handful of Chelsea's fringe players, with left-back Emerson often linked with a move to San Siro, so using him to sweeten the deal for Lukaku might be Chelsea's best option.


Centre-back

Sule could be a cheaper option | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Expect to see the back of Kurt Zouma this summer. The Frenchman has struggled to adapt to Tuchel's methods and carries far too much value to sit around on the bench. He needs replacing by a big name.

In terms of dream targets, Sevilla's Jules Kounde is expected to cost around £50m, and Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba is a player who isn't getting mentioned nearly enough ahead of this summer, but both would take up the rest of Chelsea's budget. That's not a major problem, but there are still other holes to fill.

To save a bit of money, Bayern Munich's Niklas Sule could be the man for the job. He'd cost slightly north of £20m (gotta love an expiring contract), and then that leaves a little extra in the pot to fix the final problem.


Creative midfielder

Chelsea shouldn't rule out someone like Rodrigo de Paul | Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Chelsea could do with finding a midfielder capable of unlocking stubborn defences. A lot of their game plan at the minute is passing from side to side and lumping in a speculative cross if things don't work out. When opponents drop deep, Chelsea can often struggle.

Hakim Ziyech hasn't been the assist king he was billed as, so finding someone in the Cesc Fabregas mould should be on Chelsea's to-do list as well. There may need to be a few outgoings to top up the transfer kitty slightly, but with the likes of Ross Barkley, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Davide Zappacosta, Michy Batshuayi and even Fikayo Tomori kicking about in the loan army, that shouldn't be a problem.

Udinese's Rodrigo de Paul could cost around £40m and Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi may be a little cheaper, but bringing in AC Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer might be worth exploring as well.


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Source: 90min