Chelsea managed to secure a place in the top-four of the Premier League on Sunday. That means Stamford Bridge can host Champions League football next season. The Blues can wave goodbye to Thursday night football for another year. However, the real work for Maurizio Sarri will be in the summer. If the Chelsea are to have any chance of competing, then their recruitment needs to be on point.
Maurizio Sarri Must Recruit After Chelsea’s Champions League Return
Of course, everyone knows that Chelsea are still awaiting a decision regarding a possible transfer ban. However, if they are able to overturn it successfully, they must make the most of it.
Sarri’s side have hardly been tested in the Europa League this year, with Eintracht Frankfurt being the only side to have really matched them so far. However, the club’s Premier League struggles, despite the top-four finish, clearly show improvement is needed.
Maurizio Sarri will likely keep his job as manager after securing elite European football next year, but now he will need to some of the best signings he has ever had to make this summer.
Kepa Arrizabalaga may have been a great addition (putting aside his infamous reaction in the League Cup final). The jury, however, still appears to be out on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho.
Maurizio Sarri Must Sign a Left-Back and a Striker
Left-back must be considered a priority. Marcos Alonso, for as good as he is going forward, is rather concerning at the back. Emerson Palmieri does not always provide many with confidence. Bring one in and it would not be a surprise to see one of the aforementioned leave.
The narrative for Chelsea for as long as many can remember, a striker must also be a priority. As mentioned, Higuain does not look up to standard. Olivier Giroud might be doing well in the Europa League, but arguably, he is not of the required level to lead the Blues in the Premier League either. Whether Alvaro Morata returns is another story.
Chelsea could give Tammy Abraham a go up front next season, however, providing the incoming Christian Pulisic with a world-class forward to team-up with in the summer would be an excellent piece of business.
Sarri Has Other Areas He Could Address As Well
Although it might not fit in the same category as a priority, adding wingers might also be worth trying to upgrade. Let’s face it, Willian and Pedro are not getting any younger and Eden Hazard continues to make everyone at Chelsea wait with bated breath about his future.
Callum Hudson-Odoi could obviously come back into the side when he is back at it. However, it will be hard to say how he will be after his ruptured Achilles injury. Whether he is the same player remains to be seen.
It could also be useful if Chelsea added a right-sided defender to the team. Ideally, one who could also play as a centre-back. Cesar Azpilicueta is still first-choice, but he is not getting any younger either. Antonio Rudiger will surely be one of the main centre-backs at Stamford Bridge for years to come, whilst Andreas Christensen looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Bringing Kurt Zouma back to west London might not be a bad idea, with the club thought to be planning to give him a chance. The French enforcer has excelled at Everton this season.
Sarri Fails, Then Champions League Could Be Embarrassing for Chelsea
As mentioned, a priority for Maurizio Sarri must be a striker and a left-back. Any others will be a bonus. But, if he does not manage to achieve those acquisitions, Champions League football might still be a bridge too far for Chelsea.