With Chelsea under a transfer ban, they’d be stupid to sell any of their first-team squad. However, there are four players who will be under the spotlight in this summer’s pre-season action.
Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Davide Zappacosta and Michy Batshuayi are all players who have had unclear futures over the past few months, and after varying seasons they could yet leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
With Chelsea struggling in defence, conceding 56 goals in all competitions last season, you’d think Zappacosta would be retained this upcoming campaign. However, the Italian is said to be frustrated with a lack of opportunities, and could yet be sold this summer.
However, with the aforementioned transfer ban in place, this pre-season proves a crucial time for Zappacosta, who could yet trump Cesar Azpilicueta, who struggled last season for the starting right-back spot. Azpilicueta was dribbled past a mass 0.9 times in all competitions. This was over double the number of times that Zappacosta was dribbled past (0.35).
In midfield, both Bakayoko and Drinkwater have enjoyed less than fruitful spells at Chelsea. However, Bakayoko had a solid loan spell away at AC Milan last season, earning the second-most man of the match awards at the Italian clubs. The same can’t be said for Drinkwater, who didn’t make a single competitive appearance under former manager Maurizio Sarri.
With Chelsea’s midfield struggling and Chelsea’s need for more homegrown players in the Champions League squad next season, both Bakayoko and Drinkwater could find themselves back in contention under Frank Lampard next season. However, with a number of midfield options, both stars would need a solid pre-season under their belts.
Michy Batshuayi had a poor season last campaign, having his Valencia loan spell ended prematurely and enduring an equally poor half-season loan spell at Crystal Palace. However, with just Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham the other striking options, Lampard would be stupid to get rid of Batshuayi. The Belgian has a great opportunity this pre-season to impress the 41-year-old this summer.
All four players have had frustrating spells at Chelsea, however, with a transfer ban underway, they have been handed a second bite of the cherry this pre-season, and must take it.