Chelsea’s revamped XI under Enzo Maresca if new boss gets his three dream signings | Football | Sport

Incoming Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca reportedly wants to bring in a goalkeeper, a left-back and a striker before the end of the summer transfer window. Combine his three prospective newcomers with the 4-3-3 formation which served him so well at Leicester City, and the Blues’ line-up is set for a drastic change.

Departures from Stamford Bridge are also inevitable under the strain of Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), with Chelsea‘s crop of homegrown talent particularly at risk of being auctioned off by Todd Boehly.

With all of that accounted for, Express Sport takes you through how the Londoners’ starting XI could look under Maresca next season…

Chelsea‘s predicted XI (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Ortega

A penny for the thoughts of Robert Sanchez and Djordje Petrovic – both of whom signed long-term contracts to join Chelsea less than 12 months ago, and now find themselves at real risk of being replaced.

Maresca, a former member of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City coaching staff, reportedly wants a ball-playing stopper to help implement his style of play. Rumours are already bubbling up around City’s back-up keeper, Stefan Ortega, who would certainly fit the brief and may not be too keen on the idea of spending another season as Ederson’s deputy at the Etihad Stadium.

Defence: James, Disasi, Badiashile, Robinson

Reece James will serve a four-game suspension at the start of next season but, once fit and available, the club captain should be a real asset to Maresca. With Thiago Silva out of the equation, Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile stand a good chance of forging a formidable partnership in central defence, although Levi Colwill and Wesley Fofana will be among those knocking on the door.

Maresca’s second summer requirement – a left-back – spells trouble for Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell. The former has failed to meet expectations in blue and the latter has been plagued by injury issues, which could see Antonee Robinson move across west London. The Fulham man is believed to have admirers at Stamford Bridge after two consistent seasons in the Premier League.

Midfield: Palmer, Fernandez, Caicedo

Representing close to £300million worth of talent between them; Cole Palmer, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo could become a force in the middle of the park for Maresca. Providing Palmer is given freedom to roam forward, Fernandez is able to use his metronomic passing and Caicedo brings his usual energy, it’ll be tough for the likes of Carney Chukwuemeka or Romeo Lavia to work their way into the starting line-up. Academy graduate Conor Gallagher, meanwhile, seems set to be sold.

Attack: Madueke, Osimhen, Nkunku

This summer may finally be the transfer window in which Chelsea get their hands on Victor Osimhen. Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis admits the forward is leaving Italy, with the Premier League his most likely destination.

Providing players are sold, Chelsea will have the cash to meet Osimhen’s £111m release clause and allow him to follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Didier Drogba. For Maresca, it then becomes a case of slotting his other attackers around the Nigerian.

Christopher Nkunku showed an eye for goal during an injury-hit debut campaign, although he could be forced out to the left wing as a result of Osimhen’s possible arrival. On the other flank, Noni Madueke’s strong finish to 2023/24 has put him ahead of Raheem Sterling and Mykhaylo Mudryk in the pecking order. Nicolas Jackson saw plenty of action last term but a fully fit squad would likely see him named on the bench.

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