The Athletic and Sky Sports both report that Chelsea are targeting three players for the summer – Jules Kounde, Declan Rice, and Ousmane Dembele.
Sky Sports add that these three players are ‘Chelsea’s main targets and the Blues ‘ahead of everyone’ in the race to get them.
Thus, we have ranked these players on the basis of how important and necessary they are to the squad;
3) Ousmane Dembele
Since signing for Barcelona back in 2017, Dembele has made just 129 appearances for the club. Quite a few of these have come off the bench and he has not really had a major impact at the club.
The winger has missed over a full season due to injuries at this time. While he’s still 24 and can have a bright future, are his heavy wages (reported to be around £210,000-a-week) worth the potential?
Sure, Dembele may take a salary cut to come here and he is a free agent, but as far as priority goes, the winger doesn’t offer anything that Chelsea don’t have. His injury history is a massive concern and Chelsea would need to sell at least of Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic to get him.
It’s not that we won’t welcome Dembele if he comes but he’s definitely not as important a target as the other two.
2) Jules Kounde
Kounde almost became a Chelsea player last summer and it’s more than likely he finally moves to London at the end of this season.
The center-back’s importance to the squad will be dependent on whether or not Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen extend their stay. Even if one of them leaves, which does look very likely, Kounde will be very welcome.
He’s just 23 years old and is about to hit his prime. As per WhoScored, Kounde is an amazing passer (he’s completed 89% of his passes this season) and he is very strong in the air despite his comparatively smaller size (he’s just under 6 feet).
Kounde is very good in a normal 2-man center-back system but can also play in Tuchel’s 3-at-the-back style. He’s a long-term transfer and should be a priority.
1) Declan Rice
Rice should have been a priority last summer and he definitely is one now. Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are 30, Mateo Kovacic will be turning 28 before the season ends. All three of them have spent at least a month on the sidelines due to injury this season, with Kante’s injuries being very concerning for Chelsea.
Saul Niguez is likely not going to stay here and Rice is the perfect Chelsea midfielder for several reasons. He is experienced in the Premier League, a former Chelsea academy graduate who shares a great bond with Mason Mount and he is only 23 years old!
Former manager, Frank Lampard was a big fan of Rice and reportedly, Tuchel is one too. The midfielder is one of the prime reasons for West Ham’s success this season and he has strong leadership qualities too.
An elite passer with a physical frame and strong defensive attributes – Rice would be Chelsea’s best signing in the summer should they get him.