With the European Championship and Copa America set to end on Sunday, the focus will rapidly turn back to club football and preparations ahead of next season.
Even though all the buzz for a while will end up being about new signings, there are some players already on Chelsea’s books that will be looking to make an unlikely comeback into the first-team picture.
With that being said, here is a look at 4 returning Chelsea players who could use pre-season to realize their careers at Stamford Bridge;
Sadly, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has failed to live up to the billing mostly due to his persistent injuries. However, after a solid season under his belt at Fulham, this could be one final opportunity for the midfielder to become a mainstay at Chelsea setup.
Moreover, the attacking English midfielder has shown the ability to do so in the past, having made 40 appearances and scored 10 times under Sarri in the 2018/19 season, but he will have to improve on his work rate if he is to impress the new man in charge.
In somewhat of a similar case as Loftus-Cheek, Ampadu also spent a year with a Premier League club that got relegated in Sheffield United.
Despite the overall abysmal form of his team, Ampadu shone brightly at various points of the season and the 20-year-old has time on his side to grow even further.
And with Chelsea having now loaned out Billy Gilmour, there is an opportunity in central midfield and his ability to also play in a back 3 is another advantage for the Welshman, should he choose to take it.
Abraham was unable to earn the manager’s trust enough since the second half of the 2020-21 campaign even to make the squad. However, the young striker does have another opportunity, if he wishes to try again.
And despite being disgruntled at his treatment, Abraham hasn’t moved away just yet, and with Giroud now seemingly headed out of the door, pre-season could be Tammy’s time to prove himself.
This is a bit of a long shot but the Englishman has the ability and if he can show growth, he could become Chelsea’s undisputed number 9 going forward. Plus the fact that Chelsea could fail to land favorite summer target Erling Haaland, the Englishman has quite good chances of earning the gaffer’s trust during the pre-season.
Moreover, Tammy was spotted hugging Tuchel during the first training session, so you never know!
This isn’t an issue of a long-term place at Chelsea as much as pushing to establish himself in the main XI for the 20-year-old Hudson-Odoi.
He’s clearly still highly rated at the club, even more than the aforementioned stars but hasn’t been able to establish himself the way Mason Mount or even Reece James have.
However this pre-season provides the ideal opportunity for the young winger and unless he can crack the starting XI soon, doubts over his quality will start to appear.
What do you think? Who should Thomas Tuchel consider for first team football next season?