Sunday, December 4, 2022

Thomas Tuchel’s transfer choices could upset two current Chelsea players.

Thomas Tuchel’s transfer choices could upset two current Chelsea players.

Thomas Tuchel is targeting Erling Haaland and Achraf Hakimi in the transfer window – and his ideas could bother two of Chelsea’s Champions League-winning players.

Chelsea have reportedly had an initial £56million bid for Hakimi declined by Inter Milan, who are also said to have hit back a similar presentation from Paris Saint-Germain.

The Blues are expected to return with a bigger offer for the wing-back, while they are also in the race for Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland and wantaway Tottenham star Harry Kane.

But if Tuchel lands both Hakimi and one of his center-forward targets this summer, it is likely to mean two current Chelsea players having to change position for next summer.

Hakimi scored seven goals and laid on 10 assists to help Inter to the Serie A title this season, and is being viewed as the ideal player to provide extra attacking creativity from the right flank next season.

He can also play on the right of midfield, as a right wing-back and as a proper full-back in a back four – so his entry could see Reece James pushed into a different position.

James has pretty much secured down the right wing-back slot since Tuchel took charge in January, leading to the 21-year-old being included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euro 2020 finals.

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Tuchel is assumed to have been struck by James, who had Raheem Sterling in his pocket in last month’s Champions League final, and it is understood Hakimi is not being brought in as a replacement.

James was played as a right-sided center-back during the latter stages of the period, and his versatility is set to provide him plenty of opportunities at Chelsea next season.

The other player likely to find his spot changing is Timo Werner, if Chelsea land either Haaland or Kane.

Werner has played mainly as a No9 under Tuchel, and while his pace and movement has stretched defenses, his finishing has let him down and his goals return hasn’t been adequate for a player leading the line.

The arrival of a rich goalscorer like Haaland or Kane would almost certainly oust Werner from the center-forward position.

The German striker would likely be shunted out to the left, where his speedy runs could create plenty of difficulties and he could cut inside on his favored right foot.

Werner might fancy to be playing through the middle – but he probably won’t be protesting if he has a Premier League title winner’s medal round his neck this time next year.

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Thomas Tuchel’s transfer choices could upset two current Chelsea players.

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