Chelsea will enter this summer’s transfer market in a serious position of strength. The Blues have the financial clout to blow many rivals out of the water and can also lean on their status as European champions when attempting to lure targets to Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel’s squad doesn’t need major work. A top-quality addition or two is only required, something which the Chelsea head coach appreciates.
“Two or three could be very, very good,” Tuchel told reporters after guiding his side to Champions League glory. “It’s a constant thing to never deny change.
“That you always bring new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing
“We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover because it’s also our job to keep on improving, because we have still a young squad and it’s not about stealing from 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 I think this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us.”
That brings us to Chelsea’s reported interest in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ winger Adama Traore.
The 25-year-old, who is currently on international duty with Spain, is one of the most entertaining players to watch in the Premier League. There are very few, if any, quicker than Traore and he can use his speed to devastating effect.
But over the last two campaigns, his game has become more refined. There is now an end product to his surging runs, evidenced by the fact he’s created 12 goals and struck nine times since the start of the 2019/20 season.
Those numbers are not the result of dramatic overperformance either – Traore’s expected goals total in that time period is 6.6 and his expected assists is 12.5. That suggests his output is sustainable rather than specious.
It’s easy to understand why Chelsea may be interested in Traore. Whether they should be, though, is a bigger issue.
The former Barcelona youngster would unlikely be more than a squad player at Stamford Bridge; an expensive one at that given Wolves supposedly value Traore in excess of £30million.
He could occupy a role in the front three when needed or drop in at right wing-back in place of Reece James on occasion, but the majority of his appearances, one suspects, would be as a substitute.
It may sound a little harsh but Traore would not improve Chelsea’s starting XI. He would also block the path of another burgeoning youngster within the club’s youth set-up: Tino Livramento.
During the Blues’ title-winning 2016/17 campaign, Chalobah, Ake, Loftus-Cheek and Aina had all played roles within the squad. That they were discarded in favour of expensive – and largely ineffective recruits – was frustrating for anyone with the academy set-up at Cobham.
Chelsea have seen the impact homegrown players can have within their first-team squad. Of course, Mason Mount, Reece James and Andreas Christensen are the standouts but the quality of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Billy Gilmour, Tino Anjorin and Tammy Abraham is also undeniable.
Every one of those made an impact last term. Livramento could do so next season if given the opportunity by Tuchel. He can only do so, however, if the rather muscular presence of Traore is not standing in his way.