The 2021-22 campaign is already promising to be one of the best in Chelsea’s recent history. Thomas Tuchel’s side are in the hunt for the Premier League title, and remain in contention for the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.
However, with a stacked squad full of exciting players, it’s likely that the Blues may need to let go of some stars in the transfer window at the end of the season in order to freshen up the squad and remain among the favourites in the soccer lines next season. But, which Chelsea stars could depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the current season?
One of the most painful departures from a Chelsea perspective in the summer is looking set to be Antonio Rudiger. The German central defender has been an integral part of the defence since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, but the 28-year-old’s contract is into the final few months, and rumours are already indicating that he could be set to swap Chelsea for Real Madrid.
Rudiger’s departure will immediately make the Blues weaker, as he has averaged one tackler per Premier League fixture this season, and has made 12 appearances. However, his departure could pave the way for Chelsea to finally make their move for Seville defender Jules Kounde, who was heavily linked with a move to the Bridge last summer.
Rudiger may not be the only central defender departing the club at the end of the current season, as Andreas Christensen’s contract is also set to expire in 2022. Barcelona have been linked with a move for the Danish international, and the Blues may be less than willing to meet his financial demands following the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah, who has been keeping the 25-year-old out of the team throughout much of the season.
Christensen has been with the Blues since coming through the youth set up, and has played 140 games for Chelsea in all competitions. However, the Dane hasn’t been able to nail down a regular starting place in the backline in either of the last two seasons, as he played just 17 of the 38 games last season.
Hakim Ziyech was one of the players brought into the club during the famous transfer window under Frank Lampard. The 28-year-old is fighting for a place in the starting line-up this season, and has played regularly under Tuchel. However, given the youthful players that he is up against, and the fact that there aren’t enough games to keep all of the forwards happy, Ziyech could be the one that is sacrificed by the Blues.
Ziyech endured a stop-start first season at Stamford Bridge, but he still managed to score six goals in 39 games last term. This season, he has been regularly used in the Champions League, scoring one of his two goals in all competition in 2021-22 in Europe. Tuchel has already admitted that he will not be entertaining offers for the Moroccan in January, but the summer may be a different story.
Another player brought into the club during Lampard’s only summer transfer window with the club was Timo Werner. It’s fair to say that the move hasn’t exactly played out as many fans would have been hoping for, as he has largely been mocked for his performances on the pitch. He hasn’t been prolific during his stay at Stamford Bridge, as he has scored just 15 goals in 64 games in all competitions.
Many expected much better from the German, as he joined the Blues in the summer following a memorable final season with RB Leipzig where he scored 34 goals in 45 games. Some of Europe’s top clubs are already showing an interest, with Bayern Munich among those. Tuchel may decide the time is right to part ways with Werner in the summer of 2022.