Chelsea have four issues to solve over international break as Tuchel ponders key decisions


Chelsea’s superb start to the season – in which they had only dropped points to title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City – was scuppered on Saturday as relegation-threatened Burnley scraped a point at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel put the result down to luck, but there are some things he must consider over the international break. Express Sport takes a look at four problems the German may face.

Striking problems

Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner’s injuries have meant that Kai Havertz has been forced to start up front.

He has yet to impress with just two goals in his five striker appearances against admittedly poor opposition.

The opposition in question consisted of the current bottom three of the Premier League and Malmo twice, games where Lukaku and Werner would have scored with easy.

And that could be a real problem over the next few weeks with Leicester, Juventus and Manchester United on the horizon.

Expiring contracts

Chelsea’s attacking contingent are all tied up for at least another 30 months, so there is no need to worry about them once they are back from their injuries. However, the same does not go for the defensive department at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva’s contracts all expire at the end of June.

Having sold Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi over the summer, that would leave just Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr as Chelsea’s two centre-backs, leaving a centre-back crisis at the club.

And the failed pursuit of Jules Kounde only adds to that worry.

Saul’s absence

Saul Niguez’s arrival on deadline day was arguably the biggest catch of the day in the Premier League.

Having excelled massively at Atletico Madrid, Niguez was heralded for big things at Chelsea.

But with just 47 minutes of Premier League football in his locker, and a dull 25-minute spell in Chelsea’s 4-0 hammering of Malmo in the Champions League, it appears Saul has yet to impress Tuchel.

He must find a way to impress his boss or alternatively, Tuchel must find a role for him to make his own.

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Transfer targets

By now, Tuchel will have noted where the strengths and weaknesses lie throughout his side and where he must strengthen in the summer.

A move for Kounde was supposed to happen in the summer, but a bid was turned down by Sevilla for the Frenchman.

However the club have only conceded four goals in the Premier League, which means they may be better off spending their budget elsewhere.

And with their wingers not performing to the best of their abilities, Kounde may have to bide his time before a move to London happens if Tuchel strengthens in other areas.



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