Thomas Tuchel gets his first transfer window as Chelsea manager this summer, but expect one of tinkering rather than overhaul. Having led Chelsea to their second Champions League crown after a Premier League top-four finish and an FA Cup final, Tuchel’s first season has been a huge success, one that’s all the more remarkable given he didn’t sign a single player in his squad.
So far, Tuchel has been fitting the squad to his 3-4-3 system, but this summer, he’ll get to identify the players who suit his philosophy. Top of the list will be a new striker, but first up will be the challenge of facilitating moves for players already at Stamford Bridge. They have an influx of talent returning from loans and others who have become peripheral under Tuchel. Their transfer budget will be partly dictated by whom they can move on, but winning the Champions League brings in around £100 million in total and Roman Abramovich has already indicated he’s prepared to sanction big-money deals if necessary despite last year’s £220m outlay.
With that in mind, here’s a player-by-player analysis of the existing Chelsea squad. Where a player is simply marked “Keep,” the decision was beyond any reasonable doubt.
Various factors are taken into consideration including age, wages, character and contract length (we went with Transfermarkt for contract expiry dates for consistency). And there will be moving parts, too: departures or arrivals that cause chain reactions, sometimes unexpected.
Jump to: Defenders | Midfielders | Forwards | Loanees | Overall assessment
Edouard Mendy (29 years old, contract expires in 2025)
OLLEY: Only Ederson (19) kept more Premier League clean sheets than Mendy’s 16. Equalled the Champions League record with nine clean sheets in Chelsea’s winning run. Impressed both Frank Lampard and Tuchel. Surely established now as the club’s No. 1 next year.
HAMILTON: Has made an impressive start to his Chelsea career. Should be kept as No. 1 next season, unless they can land someone even bigger.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (26, 2025)
OLLEY: Started more games under Tuchel (eight) than he did under Lampard (six), but his career has stalled. A long contract and £71m transfer fee make an exit difficult, meaning a loan might be best for all.
HAMILTON: Had his chance as No. 1, but it’s worth moving him on loan until they can command a proper fee for a permanent exit.
Willy Caballero (39, 2021)
OLLEY: Just two appearances this season. Useful to keep around if Kepa goes, but move on if he stays.
HAMILTON: He’s been a great third-choice option, but looks likely to move on with his contract up.
Verdict: Contract expiring
Cesar Azpilicueta (31, 2022)
OLLEY: Has enjoyed a revival under Tuchel after looking like he’d been usurped by Reece James. Positive presence in the camp and deserves a short-term extension, which they are expected to offer.
HAMILTON: A versatile option who suits Tuchel’s philosophy well. Worth keeping.
Kurt Zouma (26, 2023)
OLLEY: The constant battle to prove himself in a Chelsea shirt looks likely to continue, having started just seven Premier League games under Tuchel. Not likely to agitate for a move.
HAMILTON: Tuchel admitted he was “unfair” on Zouma when he arrived at Stamford Bridge, and sees him now as a “aggressive leader.” Zouma looks set to stay.
Thiago Silva (36, 2021)
OLLEY: Has not been found out by the pace of the Premier League as many feared. A young squad needs his experience for another year.
HAMILTON: Looks certain to sign a new deal at Chelsea.
Verdict: Keep and extend
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
Antonio Rudiger (28, 2022)
HAMILTON: Was out of favour under Lampard, but is now integral to Tuchel’s defence. He will stay.
OLLEY: I’m less convinced than Tom about his future. It’s an odd situation. He was in talks to extend his contract toward the end of 2020, yet also looked like going out on loan. Neither happened. The managerial change obviously gave him more playing time and I’d keep him around, but he’s into his final year so clarity over whether he will commit his future is preferable.
Verdict: Keep unless big offer arrives.
Emerson (26, 2022)
OLLEY: Time to cash in as extending his contract seems pointless given the pecking order.
HAMILTON: He’s a curious one. He always impresses when he gets his chance on the left, but he’s now third choice behind Chilwell and Marcos Alonso. Worth moving on if they find the right fee.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £5m-£7m)
Andreas Christensen (25, 2022)
HAMILTON: Has become a key figure under Tuchel, and it’s worth keeping him if he extends his contract at Chelsea.
OLLEY: Silva staying may reduce Christensen’s playing time based on Tuchel’s team selections and their preference for being the middle man in a back three. Useful squad player, so worth extending if the deal isn’t too expensive.
Verdict: Keep and extend.
Marcos Alonso (30, 2023)
OLLEY: Such an odd player. Falls in and out of favour, as well as in and out of form, yet he can be a match winner when the stars align. Worth keeping around given Tuchel’s preference for wing-backs.
HAMILTON: Alonso was out of the picture under Lampard and looked certain to leave the club, but has had a renaissance under Tuchel and looks set to stay at Stamford Bridge.
Reece James (21, 2025)
HAMILTON: He has the potential to be one of the best right-backs in the world.
OLLEY: James’ performance in the Champions League final was remarkable given his relative lack of experience. Bodes extremely well for the future.
Ben Chilwell (24, 2025)
HAMILTON: A big-money signing last summer when Chelsea signed him for £50m, Chilwell is here to stay.
N’Golo Kante (30, 2023)
HAMILTON: One of the best in the world at his position. Even though he’ll be 32 by 2023, it’s worth extending his deal.
OLLEY: Had his doubters when injury problems were affecting his ability to produce his seemingly tireless displays, but as underlined in the Champions League final, Kante’s still an elite performer. Wouldn’t extend, though — there’s no need with two years left and let’s see if those injury problems continue.
Jorginho (29, 2023)
HAMILTON: If Tuchel is given breathing room in the transfer market, then Jorginho could be one player he opts to move on. The holding midfielder will not be short of suitors in Serie A.
OLLEY: He’ll likely be the fall guy if Chelsea sign a central midfielder. Billy Gilmour will also have designs on his role in the team. Wouldn’t actively push him out the door, but it might be time to phase him out for better options.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £25m-£30m)
Mateo Kovacic (27, 2024)
HAMILTON: A classy player, who fits Tuchel’s system well.
Kai Havertz (21, 2025)
OLLEY: Immortalised after scoring the winner in Portugal, but there still remains a sense Chelsea are working him out and he’s working out Chelsea. Looked promising as a false nine, could yet play a number of positions. Strong suspicion he’ll only get better.
HAMILTON: Had a slow first season, but is showing signs of fulfilling his potential, and £71m price tag, he’ll be expected to kick on next season.
Mason Mount (22, 2024)
OLLEY: The social media criticism of Mount was ludicrous to start with and has surely been silenced by the way he thrived under Tuchel, just as he did for Lampard.
HAMILTON: Chelsea’s best player this season. Keep at all costs.
Billy Gilmour (19, 2023)
OLLEY: Notable that Tuchel has found opportunities for him when he didn’t have to. An exciting prospect but will need to play, especially if he thrives at Euro 2020 with Scotland.
HAMILTON: He has the potential to be an outstanding midfielder. It’s definitely worth extending his contract, but could find a loan move for him next term if Tuchel feels his game time will be limited.
Christian Pulisic (22, 2024)
OLLEY: Injuries haven’t helped him and it’s doubtful whether playing as one of the No. 10s in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 system plays to his strengths, but time is on his side. Next season is a big one for him.
HAMILTON: He has come into his own in the second half of the season, and it’s definitely worth keeping him.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (20, 2024)
HAMILTON: He’s still so young, and has room to grow into. Worth keeping.
OLLEY: Tough one, this. There’s a really good player in there somewhere, but Tuchel hasn’t been convinced, and if Chelsea sign a centre-forward this summer, Timo Werner could be pushed out wide, thereby reducing options for Hudson-Odoi still further. Might have a career as a wing-back, but I’m not sure that satisfies him. Perhaps if Bayern Munich come back with a similar offer as they did in the past, it might be time to move him on.
Verdict: Keep/dump if big offer arrives
Hakim Ziyech (28, 2025)
HAMILTON: Has shown flashes of brilliance in his first season at Chelsea, but yet to really find his feet in the Premier League. Having said that, he isn’t going anywhere.
Tammy Abraham (23, 2023)
OLLEY: The message has been pretty clear by not even having him on the bench for the Champions League final, the FA Cup final or the final day of the Premier League season when, as it turns out, they needed a goal. Feels a little harsh given how he was progressing pre-pandemic, but a new start elsewhere might be best for everyone, especially if Chelsea sign the big-money striker they are seeking.
HAMILTON: Abraham’s days look numbered at Chelsea. If they can find a club willing to pay the £40m transfer fee Chelsea are after, it’s worth letting him leave.
Olivier Giroud (34, 2021)
HAMILTON: He has been a fine player at Chelsea, but his contract is up. He still has a handful of years left at the top.
Verdict: Leaving at the end of his contract
Timo Werner (25, 2025)
OLLEY: Chelsea isn’t a sentimental club, but there’s too much emotional and financial investment in Werner to give up after one season. If he starts scoring regularly, they could have a top player on their hands.
HAMILTON: Once he can stay onside, Werner will start hammering the goals in. Definitely worth keeping and persevering with.
Herculez Gomez says he can’t imagine Christian Pulisic finding a better situation at a big club if he leaves Chelsea.
Ethan Ampadu (20, 2023)
HAMILTON: I’d loan him out again for another season, but he should have a future at Chelsea.
Fikayo Tomori (23, 2024)
HAMILTON: AC Milan are trying to find the funds for him to activate the option to make his loan permanent — for a fee in the region of £25m — after he impressed during his six months with the Serie A giants. He was hugely unlucky to miss out on a spot in the extended England squad. If Milan can’t afford him, then Tuchel should give him a shot.
OLLEY: The expectation is he will leave for Milan. Might have been different had Lampard still been in charge, but he’s taken a chance in a different league and good luck to him.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £25m)
Malang Sarr (22, 2025)
HAMILTON: Sarr has a long-term future at Chelsea, but he might get sent out on loan again after a season at FC Porto.
OLLEY: An opportunistic free signing last year who seems likely to have to go out on loan once more. That probably won’t be at Porto given he has endured a mixed season there.
Victor Moses (30, 2022)
HAMILTON: Spartak Moscow have taken up the option to make his loan permanent, so he’s off to Russia.
Verdict: Leaving (estimated fee: £3.9m)
Davide Zappacosta (28, 2022)
HAMILTON: The Italy international never really settled in at Chelsea, it’s time to move him on.
OLLEY: Had forgotten he was still there. Needs to revive his career elsewhere.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £5m)
Baba Rahman (26, 2022)
HAMILTON: Another who should be moved on this summer.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £1m-£2m)
Matt Miazga (25, 2022)
HAMILTON: He’s had a great season at Anderlecht, and should have plenty of suitors this summer.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £2m-£3m)
Tiemoue Bakayoko (26, 2022)
OLLEY: Needs to kick-start his career elsewhere again and Chelsea probably have to be a little more realistic with their valuation and accept a huge hit on the £40m they paid AS Monaco in 2017.
HAMILTON: With his contract up next summer, it’s time to find a new home for Bakayoko.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £15m)
Ross Barkley (27, 2023)
OLLEY: Has been overtaken by other players of a similar age with similar talent. That’s on him. Time to kick-start his career and that won’t be at Chelsea.
HAMILTON: He started so brightly on loan at Aston Villa, but then tailed off. Worth moving on, or using in an exchange deal for Declan Rice.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £12m-£15m)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (25, 2024)
HAMILTON: Loftus-Cheek should be given a chance under Tuchel.
OLLEY: Not sure he did enough in a season in which Fulham were relegated to warrant a crack next year. Another loan spell might be best.
Danny Drinkwater (31, 2022)
HAMILTON: This signing hasn’t worked out, time for everyone concerned to move on.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: whatever they can get)
Marco van Ginkel (28, 2021)
HAMILTON: Will leave at the end of his contract
Verdict: Contract up
Kenedy (25, 2024)
HAMILTON: He’s a Premier League player, but not good enough for Chelsea.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £7m)
Michy Batshuayi (27, 2022)
HAMILTON: He did well at Crystal Palace this term, and should he have a good European Championship for Belgium, he’ll have plenty of interested clubs.
OLLEY: It will be quite the clearout if Abraham, Giroud and Batshuayi are all moved on but he has no future at Chelsea and surely it is time for a new home elsewhere.
Verdict: Dump (estimated fee: £7m)
Expect plenty of peripheral players to leave this summer, but Tuchel has targets in mind to bolster the squad. After winning the Champions League last weekend, the 47-year-old said: “We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover [Chelsea spent £220m last summer] because it’s also our job to keep on improving as we have still a young squad, and it’s now about [giving] them the chance to prove it again that they are capable of growing and evolving. But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger and this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us.”
Despite Tuchel’s apparent ease ahead of the summer, expect Chelsea to target a new centre-back, central midfielder and a striker. Up front, Romelu Lukaku has been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge but they have not ruled themselves out of the running for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland or Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane despite the complexities and competition involved with both deals.
Lampard drove Chelsea’s original interest in Declan Rice, but Tuchel is also thought to be a fan. The German tactician will have his own plans for defence, with Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule also linked. Despite James and Azpilicueta both impressing, Internazionale right-back Achraf Hakimi is also on their radar. After splashing the cash last summer, expect another busy transfer window at Stamford Bridge with the coffers boosted by Champions League-winning prize money.