All You Need To Know About Chelsea Target, Gabriel Jesus

The off-season suddenly feels pretty short when you consider how close we are to Chelsea’s pre-season actually kicking off at Cobham.

In what can hopefully provide the perfect platform for Thomas Tuchel to shape his squad into his own image ahead of another taxing campaign with its unique challenges, the month of preparation can hopefully provide some space for interesting experimentation.

Tuchel’s Chelsea has been accused of becoming predictable in their approach, tempo, method of attack and even the personnel deployed regularly. Pre-season offers the breathing room to go a bit wild, try new ideas, and hopefully uncover some unexpected options, as Trevoh Chalobah did in 2021.

Not only will fans hopefully be able to witness some new additions begin to integrate into life at Chelsea. But Tuchel could also use the warm-up games to test some ideas he did not feel comfortable attempting in the intense heat of a Premier League season.

Let’s try and speculate what tests Tuchel could try out with his squad ahead of the 2022/23 season commencing next month, even guessing the arrival of some bold signings.

The 4-3-3

It has been long speculated the direction Tuchel is heading with Chelsea is an eventual shift from the 3-4-2-1 to a four-man defence. We did see it in glimpses throughout the last season to varying levels of success, but given the returning loanees and some potential targets, the 4-3-3 could prove a more effective approach.

Conor Gallagher thrived as an eight for Crystal Palace, and his return adds a very interesting dimension to Tuchel’s midfield. Mason Mount has mostly been used as a forward under Tuchel but proved his quality deeper under Frank Lampard in a midfield trio, whilst Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s best run of form at the club came in the same formation under Maurizio Sarri.

And with the potential the club could sign more natural wide players like Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembele, the need for wing-backs and more narrow forwards might prove a thing of the past for Tuchel.

The Chalobah Sequel

Uncovering the talent of Trevoh Chalobah was one of the nicest stories of last season. It further proved the quality of Cobham whilst providing a priceless solution that bolstered an already strong area after the Champions League win.

Tuchel can hopefully aim to do similar when assessing the returning loan players this pre-season. Levi Colwill, Armando Broja, Billy Gilmour, Ethan Ampadu, Dujon Sterling and Ian Maatsen all gained minutes away from the club last term and could provide a surprising alternative to transfer targets already linked.

The long-term benefits of promoting from within are obvious and could lessen the load in what is already looking to be a challenging summer to rebuild the squad.

Reece James in midfield, Christian Pulisic as a focal point, Loftus-Cheek as a regista, Tuchel surely has one interesting positional experiment up his sleeve this summer.

We usually see one, even for a half or out of convenience, in an early pre-season test. It would be curious to see the tactical flexibility Tuchel is famed for expressed a bit more loosely in the early weeks. Yes, we want consistent planning and structure.

But pre-season should be the one time a coach goes wild and takes more risks. What would be some of the unexpected changes you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments below.

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