As expected, Chelsea’s transfer date – and January overall – has been calm in terms of players arriving and leaving the club.
There was no petition for the entire month, while Danny Drinkwater, Baba Rahman, Fikayo Tomori and Lucas Piazon either left temporarily or permanently.
Of course, there was a big change at the club in January when Frank Lampard got the shoe after five defeats in eight games, which was replaced on January 26th by former Paris St. Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel.
By the time the new head coach was appointed, the likelihood of Chelsea signing was as good as finished. Lampard wanted to bring West Ham’s Declan Rice to the club, but any chance that move would materialize was over when the former manager left his post.
That means that Tuchel will be working with the same group of players he inherited from Lampard when he arrived a week ago, and not that the manager will be affected.
“There were lots of good pictures to show, lots of good behaviors that we’d like to repeat and at the same time make some changes so that everyone can prove they are competitors and to give me a better idea of what they’re capable of” said Tuchel after beating Burnley when asked about his squad.
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The head coach has had his first real chance to analyze his players in training since Sunday this week as he prepares his team to face Spurs on Thursday.
Tuchel had a training session before his debut against the Wolves and then went straight to another game, Sunday’s Burnley win.
How is his squad developing in the second half of the campaign?
It’s like you were for the club’s gunshots. Kepa Arrizabalaga has not moved away and remains number two behind Edouard Mendy between the sticks.
Willy Caballero is Chelsea’s number three while there is emergency support in Petr Cech, who is registered as the club’s technical advisor to the squad.
Fikayo Tomori’s departure means Tuchel has one less player to work with for the remainder of the season. The central defender has moved to AC Milan. But there are four other middle halves in the books by Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger.
Tuchel likes to change formation frequently. So whether or not he will use the three-man backline he used for his first two games remains to be seen, but Christensen is the most likely player to resent a lack of game time.
On the right side, Tuchel has Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James at his disposal – although neither of them have played on the right side since joining. Azpilicueta was transferred to the third center with great success, while James has only made one substitute appearance so far.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has played in Tuichel’s full-back role since his arrival, also with great success.
On the left, Marcos Alonso was brought out of the cold to play – and score – against Burnley on Sunday after not playing since September. Tuchel also has Ben Chilwell, who is just going through a sticky spot in shape, and Emerson Palmieri. The latter is clearly the third choice you suspect as a viable option as a full-back after the emergence of Alonso.
Should Tuchel ever get back to a four, Chilwell will be the man you can imagine.
An area in the square where Tuchel is completely stacked with options in midfield and is one of the areas where he has the most choice problems.
The decision to leave Billy Gilmour at the club rather than borrowing him is an interesting one and keeps the extensive options available to Tuchel right in the middle of the park.
N’Golo Kante is back in training, urging a recall after an injury, while Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have started the German government’s first two games.
Then you have Mason Mount and Kai Havertz, Hudson-Odoi is of course a right winger and Hakim Ziyech, too, has to fit into the Tuchel and stay happy for the rest of the season.
More like him than us.
Depending on what you classify as a striker or winger, it’s up to you, but it’s another area with lots of options for Tuchel.
He’s substituted Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham in his first two games, but the latter lasted just 45 minutes after an ineffective game against Burnley.
Then there is the big riddle about Timo Werner, who suffers from a big crisis of confidence after a run of one goal in 16 games and looked completely at the ground on Sunday.
Christian Pulisic revived Werner a bit after his introduction at halftime and will be pushing for starts after replacing Tuchel in the first two games.