This is a tough call as by the end of this sentence Chelsea may have signed another player who could have been included in this list.
But as things stand, while this lot need an upgrade, we reckon these are the five Graham Potter should build around..
Despite his position, relative youth and the number of injuries at Chelsea, Reece James is comfortably the player most missed by Graham Potter. James has been injured for over a third of his Chelsea career. He’s played 135 games and missed 67 with ankle, hamstring, thigh and knee problems, the latest of which resulted in the club engaging in a top to bottom review of their medical procedures after his personal trainer hinted that James had been rushed back too soon.
Given his importance to the team, Chelsea should be more cautious over James than anyone. Signing a suitable back-up would ease the burden on his very broad shoulders.
We’re getting to, or have already arrived at, the point where no matter what Mount does – good or bad – opinions of him won’t change. It’s odd that someone seemingly so grounded, happy and laid back can be such a polarising figure. Those that don’t like him make it their duty to tell everyone, meaning those that love him have to be doubly effusive in their praise to counteract slights that they seem to take as a personal affront.
Cards on the table (and you had probably already guessed as he’s included in this list of five): I love Mason Mount. Although he’s not in the best form right now, I think it’s fair to say he’s been comfortably Chelsea’s best and most consistent attacking player for the last three seasons. And for those that fairly point out that’s like hailing him as the most appealing lump of dog faeces I would counter by saying it’s almost certainly more difficult to perform well amid a sea of attacking mediocrity, and with better players Mount will improve further. Perhaps even at Liverpool.
He didn’t look entirely comfortable in Chelsea blue before his injury, but he played the full 90 minutes in two Premier League games, both of which Chelsea won. The concern will be, as it is with James, that these knee injuries become a regular problem for the 22-year-old.
Assuming they don’t, Chelsea should be on to a winner. He was fantastic for Leicester and in Thiago Silva he has about as good a centre-back mentor as he could have wished for. He cost a lot but will be well worth the €80m should he continue to progress as he has done since arriving in the Premier League. A partnership with Benoit Badiashile has stunning potential.
Talking of potential, the stuff oozes from every pore of this guy. Each time he’s been given the chance under Potter thus far it feels as though someone’s been winding a key in his back on the bench before letting him go.
Chukwuemeka is obviously inexperienced and lacks some of the tactical responsibility to be playing frequently. But he’s certainly got goals and assists in him – something Chelsea have dearly lacked from their midfielders – and has the physicality and skill to power through opposition midfields with wonderful ease.
Firstly, there is no Chelsea fan in the world that didn’t take pleasure in stealing Mudryk from under the noses of Arsenal – it was very funny. But their amusing chase and capture of the Ukrainian shouldn’t take away from how exciting his transfer is. Chelsea have been sorely lacking forwards who can make things happen out of nothing.
Having seen Eden Hazard drift and jink his way through opposition teams for seven years at Stamford Bridge it became the norm, with Willian and Pedro offering similar joy on occasion. Joao Felix, who did forward-like things for 60 minutes before his daft suspension, further highlighted how dire Chelsea attackers have been since Hazard left.
Mudryk provides hope of a thrill when watching Chelsea, who have for too long been without the kind of moments of pure individual brilliance the 22-year-old can provide.