Todd Boehly’s in-tray: Chelsea’s defensive issues amid Romelu Lukaku’s uncertain future


Chelsea have already seen major names depart Stamford Bridge with Romelu Lukaku potentially following leaving Todd Boehly with plenty to do in the transfer market this summer

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Who could replace Lukaku at Chelsea?

Todd Boehly is firmly in the door at Chelsea and will be getting stuck into the club’s summer recruitment.

Especially now that Marina Granovskaia, for so long the club’s transfer mastermind, has left following the sale of the club. The American is now set to take on more responsibility as the Blues set about adding to a squad that they hope will challenge for the Premier League title.

Thomas Tuchel’s side fell away last term as they dealt with off-field distractions due to the situation facing Roman Abramovich. Nevertheless, he remains an outstanding coach but is often very clear on what he wants and is likely to have given his new owners a list of areas he wants addressing.

Boehly can quickly endear himself to the club’s fans by overseeing an impressive summer that sets the club up as they seek to end a wait for a league title that dates back to 2017. We take a look at the issues facing the LA Dodgers owners as he begins life on the east side of the Atlantic.

Sort Lukaku’s future

The Belgian returned for a club-record fee less than 12 months ago and was hailed as the missing piece of the jigsaw. A year earlier Timo Werner had arrived but was not prolific enough – that was not expected to an issue with Romelu Lukaku however.

Yet, despite a goal on his debut, Lukaku was unable to hit the expected heights, eventually finding himself in and out of the starting XI and Tuchel is now looking to get rid of the forward. Finding a suitor could prove challenging however with Inter Milan, Lukaku’s preferred destination, struggling financially.


Romelu Lukaku is keen on a return to Inter Milan


Getty Images)

It looks like if a loan deal will be struck with the Italians paying a fee as they seek a resolution before the season begins. The last thing Boehly needs is to struggle with negotiations and leave his manager with an expensive asset he does not particularly want.

Add to the backline

The sanctions placed upon Chelsea several months ago all but ended their hopes of striking new deals with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Both men have left the club and Cesar Azpilicueta could still follow with his future uncertain.

It leaves Chelsea with stalwart – but veteran – center-half Thiago Silva as their main defender alongside young talents Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr. Tuchel will need more options and more quality if he is to mount a title charge next season and that means adding new faces.

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger both left on free transfers

Jules Kounde was on their radar previously and they are again attempting to sort a deal with Sevilla. Failure to do so will not only be an early blow for Boehly, but leave them seeking other targets.

Make a statement

The departure of Lukaku is both a must but also an opportunity. Tuchel wants to get the Belgian off the club’s books but that also leaves Chelsea needing attacking reinforcements. It opens the door for the new owner to make a signing mark, which would signal their intent in west London.

Abramovich wasted no time in splashing the cash back in 2003 and, almost 20 years on, the American owner could show he means business. Ousmane Dembele, whilst a soon to be free agent, would be a coup or the club could opt to raid a rival for a new No 9. Robert Lewandowski is potentially available after making it clear he wants to leave Bayern Munich.

Ousmane Dembele is on the club’s radar

Decide on fringe players

The Blues have an embarrassment of riches in their attacking ranks, but that is not always the best thing for team harmony. Certain individuals have established themselves as regulars – the likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. Others meanwhile have been given opportunities sporadically.

That has led to persistent rumors of them seeking pastures new in search of more game time. Werner may well consider his future if a new forward is bought in whilst talented duo Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech could be leading lights elsewhere, but instead have been in and out of the starting XI.

Moving on players who may not be part of Tuchel’s plans would not only be beneficial to the dynamics of the squad but also raise funds to re-invest into the squad.

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