2015/16 Finish: 10
Last season is one that most Chelsea fans would probably like to forget. Coming off a league title, reports started to come out about discontent in the locker room between the players and Jose Mourinho, who was ultimately sacked in December. But Mourinho wasn’t the only problem. Eden Hazard looked like a shell of his former self. He clearly lacked confidence. The team as whole, played sloppy. They lacked creativity and their struggled defensively. The one bright side is that by the end of the season they were playing much better. Hazard looked to regain some confidence and for the second straight year scored the league deciding goal, it just didn’t give Chelsea the title this time.
Transfers In: Juan Familia-Castillo (CM), Michy Batshuayi (CF), Charlie Brown (CF), Nya Kirby (CM), N’Golo Kante (CM), Marcin Bulka (GK)
In his first transfer window at Chelsea, Antonio Conte, brought in a few players to help improve this side. The big name is N’Golo Kante. Lasts season Kante was an integral member of the Leicester City squad that won the league. He should greatly strengthen the team’s midfield with both his tackling and interceptions. The other big name on this list is Michy Batshuayi. Coming over from Marseille, Batshuayi is a young player looking to prove himself. He scored 17 goals this season and will look to improve on that tally this season. It’s unclear how exactly he’ll fit into the squad, but he should be dangerous regardless.
Transfers Out: Marco Amelia (GK), Radamel Falcao (CF), Alexandre Pato (CF), Kevin Wright (LB), Stipe Perica (CF), Reece Mitchell (LW), Shabazz Omefe (CM), John Swift (CM), Mohamed Salah (RW), Papy Djilobodji (CB)
Loan Out: Wallace (RB), Nathan Ake (LB), Lewis Baker (CM), Mitchell Beeney (GK), Andreas Christensen (CB), Charly Musonda (LW), Nathan (LW), Joao Rodriguez (CF), Jeremie Boga (AM), Tomas Kalas (CB), Kasey Palmer (AM), Alex Kiwomya (RW), Victorien Angban (DM), Matej Delac (GK), Baba Rahman (LB), Tammy Abraham (CF), Jordan Houghton (CM), Alex Davey (CB)
I just want to start out by saying that the amount of players Chelsea has out on loan is absurd. They’re also a talented group. But anyway, most of the players leaving this season found themselves without a spot. Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao both failed to impress at Chelsea. Mohamed Salah was on loan at Roma last season and now makes the move permanent.
Key Player(s): Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard is one of the best players in the world when in form. He’s fast and has fantastic ball control. When he’s confident and running at defenders, he’s almost unstoppable. Last season, it was clear that an out of form Hazard plagued Chelsea. They were simply not the same team. But as he started playing better towards the end so did the team. If Eden Hazard returns to form this season, there aren’t many teams that will be able to play with this side.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 2
We are confident in saying that Chelsea will not have another season like last. They still have a number of the players that won the league two years ago, and have brough in a number of quality players. N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic together could be a force in the midfield if Conte elects to go that way. Hazard looked much improved at the Euros. And Willian actually played well last season. There is also no Champions League to worry about this season. Expect Chelsea to challenge for the title, even if they ultimately fall short.