Chelsea could axe nine players as part of a squad firesale, with the team struggling for form in the under Graham Potter. The Blues suffered the ignominy of losing 2-1 to west London rivals Fulham in the Premier League on Thursday night after winning just one of their previous seven top-flight matches before that. But owner Todd Boehly will reportedly back his manager by sticking by him and getting rid of the team’s underperforming players instead.
According to The Telegraph, expensive signings Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are facing uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge, while Jorginho could be allowed to exit the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. And any offers for captain Cesar Azpilicueta may be considered.
Chelsea may also move Kalidou Koulibaly on just months after shelling out £33million and handing the player a four-year contract to prise him away from Napoli. And the Blues are unlikely to stand in the way of fellow summer signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if he wants to leave.
But those seven aren’t the only players in danger of seeing their Chelsea careers coming to an end as goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, defender Trevoh Chalobah and midfielder Conor Gallagher could also be in line for the chop.
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Mendy was signed by Frank Lampard in 2020 and enjoyed a sensational start to his Blues career as he instantly displaced Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks and kept clean sheet after clean sheet. But the Senegal international conceded nine goals in Chelsea’s first six Premier League matches of this campaign and was dropped by ex-boss Thomas Tuchel for his final game at the helm as the Blues lost to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. Potter has kept faith with Kepa, which means Mendy’s time in west London could be coming to a premature end.
Chalobah, meanwhile, broke into the Chelsea team last season and started 17 Premier League games as the Blues impressed under Tuchel. And he was tipped to have a bright future at Stamford Bridge. But with Chelsea’s embarrassment of riches at the back, the 23-year-old has been in and out of the team this season, with the Blues hardly excelling with him in the backline. And Potter could decide the player is now surplus to requirements.
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Another man who has found his opportunities limited under Potter is Gallagher. The 22-year-old starred for Crystal Palace in the Premier League last season and went to the World Cup with England last year. But he’s only started seven top-flight matches for the Blues this time around. And Potter may feel he is better off cashing in on the ace and putting the money to better use elsewhere, on a more technically-suited midfield option.
Potter is certainly a man under pressure, but his sacking hasn’t even been discussed ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday. And Boehly may just allow the ex-Brighton boss to rebuild his squad ahead of next season in the hope that he can turn the team’s fortunes around once and for all.