ANALYSIS: Chelsea FC potential starting XI for 2017-18.

Defensively solid, an FA Cup final, and champions elect, this season has been pretty good for Chelsea F.C in their maiden season under Italian maestro Antonio Conte.

Though it is vital that that the hierarchy acknowledge the requirement to learn from their last title winning summer and upgrade the squad.

Under Mourinho in 2015 the only notable signings were Pedro; who’s form has only truly come to fruition under Conte this year, and Baba Rahman, who has subsequently been shipped out to Schalke on loan.

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They must consolidate and improve their squad in order to be competitive across all competitions next year and these are the players who I believe they should look at.

Name: Pepe
Current club: Real Madrid (229 appearances)
Age: 34

Pepe has proven in recent years that the hot headed, rash, and aggressive side of his game has dissipated. What remains is a solid, hard-working, positionally sound player whose contract happens to be up at the end of the season.

Chelsea’s defence has been so strong this year mainly due to the work of Kante; PFA Players Player of the Year, shielding them from any real threat: an experienced campaigner would do wonders to Chelsea’s back three.

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With Luiz and then one of Ake or Zouma next to him, Pepe has the makings of a fantastic prospective defender for Chelsea to utilise in their domestic pursuits as well as further afield as they re-enter the Champions League.

Pepe has unprecedented experience, and should Antonio Conte and Roman Abramovich (Chelsea owner) decide to opt for a transfer with undoubted economical value, Pepe could well present a viable option as a transfer target in this coming summer transfer window

Name: Leonardo Bonucci
Current club: Juventus (223 appearances)
Age: 30

Leonardo Bonncui has proven himself to be an integral part of the much acclaimed back 3 defensive system at Juventus, and with John Terry’s announced departure from Stamford Bridge encroaching, could Conte look to bring in the player whom he managed at both Juventus and during his time as Italy national manager?

Juventus have conceded less than a goal a game this year, 22 in 34, and have progressed to the Champions League semi-final in which they have conceded only ten. What should encourage Chelsea is that Bonucci recently had a public falling out with his manager Allegri and he worked so well under his previous manager Conte sparking rumours that a reunion may well be on the cards.

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Chelsea have been crying out for a solid ball playing centre back this year and with question marks still hanging over the reliability of David Luiz, Bonucci could well be a possibility. Antonio Conte would be buying a player whose ability he is aware of and who could slot into Chelsea’s defensive system.

Name: Romelu Lukaku

Current club: Everton (107 appearances: 54 goals)

Age: 23

Rumours about Lukaku’s return to Chelsea have been rife ever since he announced that he wouldn’t be signing a new deal at Everton.

He wouldn’t be cheap, probably in the region of £60m, but with the likelihood of Diego Costa ending up in China, SW3 will be needing a new goalscoring veteran upfront.

Lukaku provides everything a team like Chelsea need: power, pace, and a finishing ability to rival anyone else in the league, but he also has the work ethic that Conte would demand from a striker.

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Costa tracks back but he lacks the discipline needed as we saw against Man United in the 2-0 loss. In essence, Lukaku is a new version of Didier Drogba and the prospect of that should make the mouth water of any Chelsea fan.

The idea of a front three consisting of Pedro, Lukaku and Hazard should strike fear into the hearts of any Premier League defence, whilst defensive additions in the form of Bonnuci and Pepe would solidify Conte’s likely title winning team.

Chelsea possible starting XI: Courtouis; Bonucci Pepe Luiz: Moses Kante Matic Alonso; Hazard Lukaku Pedro

Written by Olly Norman.

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