Thomas Tuchel told The Telegraph today: “At the moment we have Timo [Werner] as a nine, we have Kai [Havertz] as a nine, we have Michy Batshuayi as a number nine, we have Armando Broja as a nine, Raheem Sterling as a nine, maybe, and let’s see how things work out.”
Asked if Chelsea will be searching for a striker specialist, Tuchel added: “The priority is not on the no.9 position right now. We have our top priority [Raheem Sterling], we’ve got our top priority signed.
“It makes me very, very happy and from there we are very flexible. Our goal threat should be enough right now.
“If we think something crazy comes up that we don’t see, maybe we will get involved, maybe not.”
Tuchel has made it clear that unless a huge chance comes up in the market, the club is not looking to add a striker to the team. With these words in mind, let’s take a look at three ways Chelsea can attack next season.
Option 1: Sterling as false 9
This attacking line-up is probably as ‘flexible’ as it can get for Chelsea. Mason Mount plays his best football when he’s deployed just outside the box, as he can make use of his runs in the box as well as drag the defenders to him and create space for others.
Sterling played seven games as the central striker for City last season. Chelsea’s attack can be more fluid than we are used to as Sterling and Werner can inter-change positions, with Christian Pulisic’s pace coming in handy on the right side.
Sterling is also capable of dropping deeper or wider, which would allow Mount to make more runs forward as Chelsea’s fullbacks can run ahead and create chances.
Option 2: Havertz as the striker, Gallagher as the No.10
Havertz played the most games at the central striker role last season and he performed well, scoring 11 goals and getting three assists in 26 appearances.
While Sterling can play as the No.9, he excels most at his preferred left wing position – he had nine goals and five assists at that role last season.
Conor Gallagher scored eight Premier League goals for Palace, making great use of his runs and finishing inside the box.
While his primary role was a box-to-box No.8, he can have more freedom at Chelsea given we play three center-backs with two midfielders ahead taking some of the defensive duties away from Gallagher.
While the right wing is not Mount’s ideal position, he can play there in certain games as he has a great connection with Reece James, who will be bombarding the flank on that side.
Option 3: Werner as striker, Havertz as the No.10
Havertz made 18 appearances as the attacking midfielder and that was his preferred position before his Chelsea move, as he excelled at the role for Bayer Leverkusen.
In this formation, everyone is playing at the role they like the best. Werner has not been used as the central striker a lot, but Sterling and Havertz’s creativity could be the key to unlocking his goalscoring potential.
The front three is also the fastest Chelsea can field. Sterling and Werner can inter-change their roles in this formation too, moving wide or central depending on the game.