Kanté, Ziyech back but Pulisic out as Tuchel looks for derby win against Arsenal

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We Ain't Got No History 20 August, 2021 - 10:41am 9 views

At £30M Odegaard will be Arsenal's first bargain buy of the summer (Opinion) - Just Arsenal News

Just Arsenal News 20 August, 2021 - 07:30pm

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Arsenal have already completed moves to sign Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares, while we are believed to be close to deals for both Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, and the fee for the Norwegian is the only bargain of the lot.

I’m hearing a lot of smoke about our transfer business, with TalkSport‘s Alex Crook and Laura Woods amongst those to claim that the £30 Million fee talked about for Odegaard isn’t value, and I refute such comments.

We saw in a very short spell when he arrived in January exactly how exciting, imaginative and creative the midfielder can be, showing an eye for a pass that many simply don’t possess, and at the age of 22 years-old he is only going to get better.

There is a lot he can build on too as he actually settles into the side, given that he only had a limited time to train and get involved with his team-mates having joined during the season, but he has already shown his worth for that fee, highlighted by reports while he was at the Emirates previously linking both Chelsea and Liverpool, with Defensa Central citing his asking price at 60 Million Euros which wasn’t frowned upon at the time.

We have paid a premium for Ben White, we look set to pay up to £30 Million for Aaron Ramsdale which has to be considered excessive also, while Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga have plenty of work to do to prove they are worth their asking prices, but Odegaard’s supposed £30 Million fee is already a bargain in my eyes.

Can any of our other signings (or expected signings) be considered as bargains yet? How much do you guys believe Odegaard is worth at present?

Agreed. I am happy with his fee for a player that can only improve and his value can only increase (under a proper coach that is) that’s how Arsenal should strive to do business.

Lokonga will prove to be a first class signing ,mark my words.He is our best value for money buy in this window in my opinion.

Must agree with your prediction for Lokonga. ASL can cement his place as a first pick in the team sheet, if he gets a regular run of games.

agree Grandad, with Nuno a close second

Lets not forget he has never had stability. Real kept sending him on loans (4 seasons I think?) In indifferent countries on top of that. He’s gone from Spain to Holland, back to Spain, into different Spanish team, briefly to England, back to Real. Never knowing where he will be playing next year.

I’ve noticed this doesn’t bode well. EMI was shipped out on multiple loans. Gnabry too. Even Salah. It wasnt until their permanent transfer they started performing on the level they are now.

And we got Ödegaard for peanuts IMO. Lets hope he can fulfill his potential now that he has home.

Salah was world class during his loans in Italy bro.

If that were true, Chelsea wouldn’t have sold him for 13 mil.

so true Rashid, anyone who disagrees obviously didn’t watch him play in Serie A

The bargain for me is Lokonga, looks a proper baller.

He didn’t get into the Real first team when he broke onto the scene at 16. Shambolic.

He created more goal-scoring opportunities in half a season than any other Arsenal player did across the whole season (and ESR was no. 2).

The Ozil that created the most chances in the PL in 5 of his 6 seasons? That one? That guy was scapegoated so much people seem to have forgotten that he was brought in to do one job and he was basically the best in the league at it.

The guy who is assisting and scoring for fun, playing for Fenebahce in Turkey?

Dan kit I agree totally wasted 30 million I don’t rate him better buying someone decent it seems who Arteta likes. How many times has he been loaned out and nobody wanted him only Arsenal

I didn’t see a queue of team banging on RMs door to sign the boy wonder. I dont think from what we have seen 30 Mil is a bargain, i think he is a 20 to 25 mil player at best. He is neat and tidy and not very dynamic but as yet he is no special player. Madrid had him back to assess him this summer and didn’t like what they saw, so they have shipped him out. He was supposed to be their future player but fell below the grade. We are no RM but he is no superstar in the making from what he has shown. What i saw, when the pressure was on and we needed a bit extra, he fell short.

very sensible assessment Reggie…no doubt he has some skills in his tool box, but he certainly hasn’t shown the kind of attributes that we so desperately need in the midfield, as he lacks the requisite pace and scoring touch required to fundamentally change our tactics, his presence likely means more unnecessary shoehorning of players and he’s too injury-prone for such a timid player…as I’ve said all along, this is the sort of path of least resistance purchase, much like the misguided Xhaka re-upping, that will likely enable our slowly drowning manager to continue to rollout the same ineffectual tactics that have yielded mid-table or below offensive numbers

Ozziegunner I just don’t where the money is coming from unless there is a surge to buy are deadwood

Hit the nail on the head with every point you made there..

Eddie any fan who thinks smith is a better player than Martin doesn’t really understand football. If I’m being honest I still don’t see exactly what smith offers us yet, I think he’s a steal at 30 million. And I like this line “He laid passes that I’ve seen people laud Ozil over for weeks and months.

👍. You are very correct Eddie.

Eddie, injuries didn’t help him acclimatise to a new club or league either. This season, injury free, permanent move, should give him the opportunity to thrive, provided he is supported by the manager and his team mates. If they make the runs he will pick them out with the pass.

I think it’ll turn out to be great vfm. While he didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Oodegaard was part of our resurgence, along with ESR, in the back half of last year. He’s key to the press and will take no time to bed in.

I wish we could do polls on this site. I’d love to know whether folks think he’s a better buy then Buendia who many were disappointed we didnt get. For me its Odegaard all the way – younger, cheaper, will hit the ground running and no where near his peak.

Agree with comments above that Lokonga looks like another great buy.

MO’s pressing from the front and his leadership qualities were on display during his previous loan spell with us. A vocal presence on the pitch (for a young guy playing in a new league with new teammates) and very good at organizing his teammates by constantly giving instructions when not in possession of the ball. No wonder he is the captain of the national side, despite his young age.

Don’t forget Pepe’s contributions in goals and assists, when given opportunities at the end of the season.

His jersey, close control and pressing alone are worth 20 M

😂😂😂😂😂. First laugh I have had today.

I think Martin Odegaard is a great signing.. In a market where every Dick, Tom and Harry go for 50-60 million, 30 mil for a young still developing player with obvious potential is a bargain.. and don write “MO” for Martin Odegaard.. MO still gives me nightmares about a certain lazy, overpaid player we recently had

“MO still gives me nightmares about a certain lazy, overpaid player we recently had”. Who might that be 🤔🤔🤔

Sambi > Odegaard value wise for me.

I dont really understand this much quoted view that because he couldn’t succeed at RM he can’t work here. We don’t need to look very hard to find examples of players who needed a change in scenery to reach their potential – two of our legends (Berkamp, and Henry) weren’t regulars at their Italian clubs before moving to Arsenal. Equally you see great players fall off the cliff when they move clubs (Hazard, Sanchez).

Anyway Reggie, I’m sure you and I can agree that we hope you are wrong and he goes on to join that list of Arsenal greats.

Here here! I will show my arse at Buckingham Palace if he turns out as good as Bergy.

Let us know when – and I’ll make the journey down to London 😉

Sue P there is a lot needs to happen before we both go down to Buckingham Palace. 😉

Voyageur, he “couldn’t succeed at Real Madrid” because of the great midfielders RM had to select from. People seem to neglect that, given that although some are aging, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Valverde and Co are high quality.

We cannot say Odegard is a bad signing because he only had 2 assists when he was with us last season. He only got 2 assists because of our woeful strikeforce. He would have got more assists if our forwards could hit a barn door from 8 yards. Kevin De Bruyne could play for us and only get 2 assists because of our woeful finishing, would you call him a bad player.

OT – So Lacazette, Aubamayang, Runarsson and Wilian were all covid positive last week.

I’m told that it was down to the circumstances- whatever that means

👍 Very odd, considering we were told Willian ‘was not fit to play’

Is it because the rules say that individual players are not allowed to be identified?

Not sure where that came from, but when these stats are given out, it is only how many players… not by individuals.

James Maddison has played more games with more goals. But that’s about it.

Sambi lokonga is a much better bergain for me.

My fear for lokonga is arteta. Arteta may pair xhaka and partey when he returns from injury and keep lokonga on the bench or he may never list him in any game again.

Except if lokonga can slow our games, commit reckless fouls and give backward/sideway passes like xhaka.

That is £30M down the drain.

Just read Laca Auba missed Brentford because they got covid alongside William and the keeper.

First major news as Auba now testing negative, is aiming to be fit for chelsea while Laca is still with the covid.

2nd news is exactly why I am getting bullish about arsenal fans who offer opinions with no substance. Ramsdale social media platforms have been hit with msgs from ‘arsenal fans’ telling him to fck off… he will be hunted down if he comes… boo’d if he plays….

Why? Because video game fans are 90min football fans. Dont know shit about my football club.

On the topic of Odegaard, I add this. Aston Villa wanted ESR for 30m and probably would of gone up to 35m to close the deal.

I have time for it, been a fan over 30 years… I have to accept though, some fans dont have the time for it, because their video games make them believe in magic

I am very happy with the Odegaard signing. £30 million is nothing nowadays.

This is my current dream 11 when everybody are fit.

Pepe has to play if Arsenal want goals, because teams tend to double mark him, thus creating space for others.

I will go for Nuno because that guy just play like wanbisaka for man u… and again he got a very good Left foot more than pepe & Xhaka he can curved the boll like mahrez..well he gonna surprise everyone

Bargain is an understatement in those two cases, IMO. ASL playing style reminds me of Guendouzi. To get the best out of Guendouzi, he needs a manager who understands the human side of footballers.

I agree totally about Guendouzi. A very good committed player giving his 100% for the shirt, but had a few bad tempered moments which I am sure any other experienced manager would have handled quite well. Hope he returns to us soon. Regarding Odegaard I hope he performs to his ability now that he has got a permanent signing and has allredy jelled with the team. Also Lokonga and Nuno are exciting signings, great for the future. Lets back the team.

We had willock whose stats last year were different but equal if not better in some areas than Martin’s.

I’m not convinced by him based on his performances last year. Yes he made a couple of nice passes but it’s not as though he is De Bruyne. Maybe he will develop into something more than a often sideways passing Arteta like player but the jury is out for me.

Regardless of what people say, his performances last year where he wasn’t anywhere near exceptional or the fact RM did not think him up to it makes me hesitant in declaring this guy is a bargain.

Yes he is young, and can hopefully develop into a better player with us but worried our midfield will be very Arteta-Esque with lots of ball retention backward and sideways with him and Xhaka but without much penetration.

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Premier League Week 2 Fixtures: TV Schedule, Live Stream & EPL Table 2021/22 | Sportslens.com

Sportslens.com 20 August, 2021 - 07:30pm

The new Premier League season continues apace this weekend, with some exciting fixtures scheduled to take place.

The action gets underway on Saturday lunchtime, with Liverpool welcoming Burnley to Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side recorded a 3-0 win at Norwich City last weekend and are a banker bet to follow up against the Clarets.

There are five more fixtures to follow, with the clash between Leeds United and Everton likely to be the pick of the bunch.

Leeds crashed 5-1 at Manchester United on the opening weekend and will be desperate to bounce back at Elland Road.

The Red Devils are in action on Sunday as they travel south to face Southampton at St Mary’s.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were hugely impressive against Leeds and should continue in the same vein in this one.

The two north London clubs also play on Sunday, with Tottenham visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal hosting Chelsea.

The Gunners crashed 2-0 at Brentford last weekend and face several selection issues against the Blues.

Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Runarsson are still recovering from COVID-19, while Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah remain sidelined.

Pierre-Emerick Aubayameng and Willian are unlikely to be in contention despite testing negative for the virus.

Chelsea have been boosted by the news that Romelu Lukaku is expected to make his second debut for the club.

Thomas Tuchel is also hoping that N’Golo Kante will be fit to start following an ankle injury, but Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Loftus-Cheek miss out.

The latest round of fixtures concludes on Monday as West Ham United go head-to-head with Leicester City.

Sky Sports are screening the games at Brighton, Southampton, Arsenal and West Ham, while BT Sport will broadcast the Liverpool match.

All of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures will be available to watch online. Please click here to view our dedicated live streaming page.

Premier League Week 2 Fixtures: TV Schedule, Live Stream & EPL Table 2021/22 | Sportslens.com

ESPN 20 August, 2021 - 07:30pm

The new Premier League season continues apace this weekend, with some exciting fixtures scheduled to take place.

The action gets underway on Saturday lunchtime, with Liverpool welcoming Burnley to Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side recorded a 3-0 win at Norwich City last weekend and are a banker bet to follow up against the Clarets.

There are five more fixtures to follow, with the clash between Leeds United and Everton likely to be the pick of the bunch.

Leeds crashed 5-1 at Manchester United on the opening weekend and will be desperate to bounce back at Elland Road.

The Red Devils are in action on Sunday as they travel south to face Southampton at St Mary’s.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were hugely impressive against Leeds and should continue in the same vein in this one.

The two north London clubs also play on Sunday, with Tottenham visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal hosting Chelsea.

The Gunners crashed 2-0 at Brentford last weekend and face several selection issues against the Blues.

Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Runarsson are still recovering from COVID-19, while Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah remain sidelined.

Pierre-Emerick Aubayameng and Willian are unlikely to be in contention despite testing negative for the virus.

Chelsea have been boosted by the news that Romelu Lukaku is expected to make his second debut for the club.

Thomas Tuchel is also hoping that N’Golo Kante will be fit to start following an ankle injury, but Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Loftus-Cheek miss out.

The latest round of fixtures concludes on Monday as West Ham United go head-to-head with Leicester City.

Sky Sports are screening the games at Brighton, Southampton, Arsenal and West Ham, while BT Sport will broadcast the Liverpool match.

All of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures will be available to watch online. Please click here to view our dedicated live streaming page.

USMNT's Pulisic isolating after COVID positive

ESPN 20 August, 2021 - 04:37pm

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Chelsea and United States men's national team midfielder Christian Pulisic will miss his side's Premier League clash against Arsenal on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed on Friday that the 22-year-old has not trained with the side since Wednesday following his positive test and will isolate for at least 10 days under government guidelines.

"Christian is unfortunately pretty easy to explain," Tuchel told reporters when asked why he wouldn't be available for Sunday.

"He had a positive test and needs to follow the protocols. He's not in training and not available for the game [against Arsenal]."

Pulisic posted on his Instagram story: "Unfortunately I tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Thankfully I'm fully vaccinated and I have no symptoms so far."

The positive test comes ahead of USMNT's World Cup qualifying matches. The squad are set to meet in Nashville in nine to 10 days, with the first qualifier against El Salvador in 13 days. Sources suggest the early indications are Pulisic is aiming to be back for Chelsea's match with Liverpool next week, before he's due to join up with the national team.

Pulisic's absence is a blow for both Chelsea and the 22-year-old, who scored in Chelsea's opening weekend win over Crystal Palace.

"I think that I'm not in the role to tell my players or recommend strongly to my players to get vaccinated. I am vaccinated twice. A lot of my players are vaccinated twice, Christian is also. But this is clearly the recommendation from the doctors and the medical department, they are in charge of that.

"I am not in fear but I am well aware of the risks and the situation that we still live in and we have to be careful. We have to be responsible and this is what we do here in Cobham and in everyday life. This is what we talk about with our players, of course."

Chelsea's new £97.5 million signing Romelu Lukaku is in line to make his debut against Arsenal, heightening the competition for places in the more attacking positions with Pulisic aiming to get his career back on track after a mixed 2020-21 season.

Chelsea refused to confirm exactly when Pulisic tested positive but sources told ESPN he is hopeful of being available for next Saturday's trip to Liverpool. It is not thought at this stage that any other players are affected.

Arsenal have also suffered with COVID-19 ahead of the London derby as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson all missed their 2-0 defeat to Brentford last Friday.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said on Friday all four are doubtful for Sunday's game, although Lacazette returned to training on Thursday.

U.S. men’s soccer star Christian Pulisic, a Hershey native, tests positive for COVID-19

PennLive 20 August, 2021 - 11:57am

Hershey native Christian Pulisic, arguably the most prominent American men’s soccer player in the world currently, has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss Chelsea’s English Premier League matchup with Arsenal this weekend.

Pulisic confirmed his diagnosis on his Instagram story and added that he had been vaccinated against the virus.

“Hi all, Unfortunately I tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week,” Pulisic wrote on Instagram. “Thankfully I’m fully vaccinated and I have no symptoms so far.”

Read more: 10 Mid-Penn boys soccer players to watch

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said Friday that the 22-year-old Pulisic is isolating for 10 days under current guidelines after his COVID-19 test and will not be available for Sunday’s match.

“Christian is unfortunately pretty easy to explain,” Tuchel told reporters, according to ESPN.

“He had a positive test and needs to follow the protocols. He’s not in training and not available for the game [against Arsenal].”

Read more: ‘Hey, Jones!’: Penn State’s tough openers, why Pry gets a pass, B1G sleepers/frauds, and Pholdin’ Phils

According to ESPN, Pulisic hopes to return to Chelsea ahead of its match against Liverpool next Saturday. After that, Pulisic is scheduled to join the U.S. men’s national team for its World Cup qualifying matches against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras. The El Salvador match is scheduled for Sept. 2.

Pulisic scored for Chelsea in its season-opening win over Crystal Palace last week.

Pulisic recorded four goals and two assists for Chelsea during the 2020-21 Premier League season. That came after he posted nine goals and four assists in the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Read more: Penn State wide receivers need to ‘bring it’ in competition to contribute

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Kante and Ziyech fit but Pulisic out after testing positive for Covid - West London Sport

West London Sport 20 August, 2021 - 07:37am

Both Kante and Ziyech trained on Friday and boss Thomas Tuchel is optimistic that both players will be available for Sunday’s derby at the Emirates Stadium.

“Hakim and N’Golo were both in training today,” Tuchel revealed.

“They had absolutely no problems. We need to have a more intense, physical training session tomorrow with them and decide after tomorrow’s training session.

“But, right now, it seems very positive that both can be in the squad for Sunday.

“Christian needs to follow the (self-isolation) protocols so is not in training and is not available for the game.”

Lukaku is set to be involved following the striker’s recent return for a second spell at Chelsea.

“This week’s training was a heavy load for him. We are hoping that he is on the pitch for Sunday, and things look like it,” Tuchel said.

Comment: Do Chelsea Need to Sign Another Midfielder This Summer?

Sports Illustrated 20 August, 2021 - 03:51am

After a slow start, with the summer’s Euros tournament complicating deals for buying clubs, the Blues wrapped up a club record £97.5 million transfer for Romelu Lukaku, injecting much needed firepower up front (Jorginho finished top scorer in the league last season with seven penalties).

Furthermore, the club has accelerated outgoings in recent weeks with the aim of trimming the bloated squad - with many of the ‘loan army’ looking for a new home next season, permanent or temporary. Michy Batshuayi has joined Besiktas, whilst Kenedy has returned to Brazil with Flamengo, both on loan.

Matt Miazga, Davide Zappacosta, Emerson and Ike Ugbo, all surplus to requirements, have also been linked to sides in Spain, Italy, France and Belgium. This list will continue to grow in coming weeks - with Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and Tiemoue Bakayoko not involved in Thomas Tuchel’s plans and set to depart.

However, one pressing concern remains for many fans - will Chelsea sign another midfielder before the window shuts on August 31? Chelsea currently only have three senior ‘conventional’ midfielders in the squad after loaning youngster Billy Gilmour to newly-promoted Norwich.

These three midfielders are undoubtedly phenomenal options to have though. Jorginho has been touted for the Ballon D’or after winning the Champions League and Euros this summer, whilst N’golo Kante is arguably a top five midfielder in Premier League history. Mateo Kovacic also had a solid season after winning Chelsea Player of the Year in 2019/20 - averaging a SofaScore rating of 7.10.

Despite this, squad depth is crucial beyond words, especially in the era of COVID-19 and unpredictable unavailability's and quarantines. With Chelsea set to compete in the Club World Cup in December, the club could play a maximum of 66 games across the 2021/22 season.

Chelsea’s midfielders, regardless of their status and talent, have suffered with sporadic fitness issues, evident last season particularly. Kante missed three games with a hamstring injury in January, and missed clashes against Arsenal and Aston Villa late in the campaign in order to handle his workload. Billy Gilmour was able to step up in Kante’s absence, but will not be able to do so in a Blue shirt this season.

At the same time, Mateo Kovacic missed nine games with a muscle injury - including three in the knockout stage of the Champions League - whilst Jorginho will be 30 in December and unable to feature in every game.

The risks of operating a comparatively thin squad were laid bare last season with the example of Liverpool, hoping to defend their first ever Premier League title. Captain Jordan Henderson missed 12 league games with an abductor injury, whilst Thiago, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita (the latter two especially injury prone) missed a total of 46 league games with various injuries (and COVID). 

The Reds dropped 30 points from their 2019/20 league winning total, scoring 17 less goals, and conceding nine more.

On the other hand, Man City are extremely well-stocked in midfield areas - with Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Phil Foden and Oleksander Zinchenko competing for roles. City improved upon their 2019/20 points tally by five points despite injuries to Gundogan and de Bruyne, consistently rotating the midfield dependent on the competition and opposition.

It may well be wise for Chelsea to invest in another midfielder to bolster the squad ahead of involvement in five different competitions. What options could the club consider?

Chelsea were linked with a move for 21-year-old French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni as early as February, who plays alongside ex-Blue Cesc Fabregas for AS Monaco in Ligue 1. Tchouameni is a dynamic, exciting midfield prospect, and would represent a shrewd purchase for the club.

Tchouameni truly caught the eye across Europe with his displays last season - featuring in 36 of Monaco’s 38 league games as the club finished 3rd with 78 points, just five behind champions Lille, also playing every game in the Coupe de France as The Monégasques lost to PSG in the final.

With Monaco alternating between a 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 setup under Niko Kovac, Tchouameni picked up minutes as both a deep ‘anchor’, and in a midfield pivot. The youngster was rated Monaco’s second best performer by both SofaScore (7.15) and WhoScored (7.16) - impressing in midfield with his ability to break up play with tackles and interceptions, and to launch attacks for teammates with progressive passes in transition. This style of play has drawn flattering comparisons to compatriots N’golo Kante and Paul Pogba.

Upon joining Monaco from Bordeaux in January 2020, the Monaco Tribune described the deal as “a superb piece of business - Tchouameni intervenes with conviction and confidence to stop attacks dead … able to cover ground efficiently, the 20-year-old’s running power ensures he can get back quickly so his team can regain structural stability”.

Across the last 365 days, Tchouameni’s tackles per 90 (4.16), successful pressures per 90 (7.10) and interceptions per 90 (1.97) all ranked in the top 10% for midfielders in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues - illustrating an elite talent, who doesn’t turn 22 until January. Valued at €30 million by TransferMarkt, Tchouameni would be a superb signing as an N’Golo Kante understudy ahead of the new season.

According to reports from Manchester Evening News, Chelsea have already made contact with 18-year-old Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba, whose contract expires in 2022. Moriba has also been linked with Liverpool and Man City in recent weeks as speculation over his future intensifies.

Despite his young age, Moriba has already played 18 games for the Barca senior side, after joining the La Masia academy at the age of seven. He entered the team in the latter half of last season, making his debut in February, and picking up a run of games for the remainder of the campaign - missing just one of the final 13, whilst contributing three assists and scoring versus Osasuna in a 0-2 win.

After his first goal for the club, Ronald Koeman was delighted. 

"It was an incredible goal and had a lot of impact on the match. He took advantage of the opportunities he had. He is very good at controlling the ball and he is a very strong player."

Moriba’s favoured position is a box-to-box role, contributing in both attack and defence. His game is incredibly rounded for such a young player - exhibiting a maturity that would allow him to fill in for any of the current three midfielders and perform at a high level.

Last season, Moriba’s pass completion rate (92%), assists per 90 (0.32), passes under pressure per 90 (12.51), shot creating dribbles per 90 (0.32), carries into the final third per 90 (2.92), and fouls drawn per 90 (3.74) all ranked in the top 4% for European midfielders. An immense talent who could be signed for a relatively cheap fee, Moriba would be a superb piece of business for Chelsea.

As well as signing players in the market, Chelsea could consider existing players in the squad to provide midfield depth.

Ethan Ampadu remains with the club after spending last season on loan at Sheffield United. The 20-year-old played over 2,000 league minutes, with his shots blocked per 90 (0.86) and clearances per 90 (5.17) both in the top 1% for European midfielders.

Trevoh Chalobah also looks set to remain with the squad this season after a fine debut versus Palace. The 22-year-old played 11 games with Lorient in different midfield roles last season - his 2.48% interceptions per 90 ranked in the top 2% for European midfielders, able to compensate for Kante’s defensive output.

Finally, Ruben Loftus-Cheek also remains with the first-team. Loftus-Cheek can play as an advanced ‘10’ in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1, as well as in a deeper midfield role, which was experimented in the 1-2 preseason win over Arsenal. Loftus-Cheek will have a point to prove at Chelsea after an underwhelming season with Fulham, and Thomas Tuchel is a known admirer.

Chelsea’s priorities for the remainder of the window will be to continue to offload fringe squad players, as well as their pursuit of defender Jules Kounde. However, after the departure of Gilmour, signing another midfielder for depth may be incredibly smart business to replicate and build upon the success of last season. 

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