An excellent XI of players already linked with Chelsea this summer

Quick Reads

Chelsea have already completed a couple of exciting signings ahead of the 2020-21 season, and a number of others are expected to follow.

After being unable to sign new players last summer, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already joined as Frank Lampard looks to make up for lost time.

We’ve rounded up an impressive XI of players Chelsea have been linked with this summer, arranged in a 4-3-3 formation. They’re obviously not all going to happen, but it’s fun to pretend.

Andre Onana

After making Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper in history, Chelsea have now realised he’s actually a bit sh*t, with the Spaniard tipped to depart the club as Lampard targets a new stopper.

Jan Oblak, Nick Pope and Dean Henderson have all been linked – after some classic transfer bullsh*t involving Manuel Neuer in January – but The Athletic suggest Ajax goalkeeper Onana is the most realistic target thanks to the two clubs’ positive relationship and the £30million price tag.

Achraf Hakimi

He’s joined Inter, so it’s not happening. Just teach Reece James where to stand.

Declan Rice

After conceding more goals than 14th-placed Crystal Palace and as many as 15th-placed Brighton, defence is an obvious area Chelsea need to strengthen.

Despite playing in midfield for the majority of his time at West Ham, Rice is reportedly Lampard’s preferred signing, with the intention of deploying the England international at centre-back, a position he has played on occasion.

The only stumbling block is likely to be West Ham’s asking price for the 21-year-old, amid suggestions Chelsea may offer players in exchange in an attempt to lower the fee.

Ben White

Also mentioned as a potential centre-back target, White is yet to play in the Premier League for Brighton but shone in his first season in the Championship on loan at Leeds United.

Marcelo Bielsa is eager to sign the 22-year-old permanently amid reports Leeds have already had two bids rejected for the player, who has also been linked with Liverpool and has so far rejected Brighton’s offers of a new deal.

For a player with no top-flight experience, White is likely to command a huge fee, but it would probably be worth it if only for Chelsea and Lampard to boil huge amounts of p*ss in West Yorkshire.

Ben Chilwell

Neither Marcos Alonso nor Emerson Palmeiri have convinced on the left of a back four, and while Chelsea have been linked with Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico, Chilwell is reportedly their preferred choice for the role.

As with Rice, Leicester’s asking price for the England international could be a problem, although their failure to finish in the top four at Chelsea’s expense could force their hand into selling.

READ: Chelsea’s 25 weirdest signings of the Premier League era

Ismael Bennacer

Bennacer may have struggled to make an impression at Arsenal, but the midfielder subsequently shone enough over two years at Empoli to earn a move to Milan.

As an important factor in Milan’s resurgence over the second half of the season, Bennacer has been linked with a number of big clubs, although such reports all seem to lead back to a story published on Calciomercato, so it probably won’t happen.

Boubakary Soumare

Lampard ruled out a move for Lille midfielder Soumare in January but did admit he is a fan of the 21-year-old, saying: “I’m aware of him as a player, but he’s not on my radar for this window, to be fair.

“We played against them and I know he’s a good player but that’s one that’s not on the immediate radar, albeit he’s a good player. But he’s another club’s player.”

Speculation has continued to persist about Chelsea’s interest, with Manchester United and Liverpool also mooted as potential destinations for the defensive midfielder.

In that area of the field, Lampard is expected to allow Jorginho to leave if the club receives a suitable offer, while there are also doubts about N’Golo Kante’s future amid his struggles with injury.

Kai Havertz

Chelsea are probably going to sign him. Nobody really knows how Lampard is going to fit everyone in his team. It’s all quite exciting.

LISTEN: A 2000s Premier League Dream Team Draft – The Broken Metatarsal

Vinicius Junior

After joining Real Madrid amid plenty of hype, Vinicius has failed to consistently shine at the Bernabeu and was briefly overtaken in the pecking order by compatriot Rodrygo in 2019-20.

He is now being speculatively linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and PSG, which feels an awful lot like when James Rodriguez was out of favour at Real and was speculatively linked with every big club under the sun because…clicks, innit?

Moussa Dembele

The arrival of Timo Werner suggests Chelsea are unlikely to buy another striker with Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud already in place at Stamford Bridge (Michy Batshuayi is expected to be sold).

But former Celtic striker Dembele, now with Lyon, has generally been linked with every big club in England, with Sky Sports going as far as reporting that Chelsea had a £34million bid for the player turned down earlier this year.

Crucially, this was before they signed Werner.

Said Benrahma

Chelsea’s last few signings from the Football League haven’t exactly gone to plan, and they’re not exactly short of options in attack, but Brentford’s failure to secure promotion has made them vulnerable to seeing their best players picked off.

With 17 goals and nine assists to his name in the Championship last term, Benrahma certainly falls into that category, although he seems more likely to join a club in the tier below where Chelsea operate.


More Chelsea

Frank Lampard names the five best players he ever played with

Can you name every player used by Jose Mourinho in his first Chelsea season?

Chelsea’s 25 weirdest signings of the Premier League era

Fabio Paim: The wonderkid Chelsea and Jorge Mendes couldn’t save