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What do Chelsea need?

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 24-06-2015 skysports.com

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How do you improve the Premier League champions? We look at which positions Jose Mourinho needs to strengthen this summer. 

Some would argue that filling a title-winning side with a plethora of fresh faces could be disruptive, but with a manager and transfer committee who meticulously plan every move, expect the Blues to bring in several new arrivals who will only improve their squad yet further.

Mourinho’s men comfortably secured last season’s Premier League crown after making a profit in the past two transfer windows combined – the first league winners to do so in eight seasons.

That comes after several of their inflated squad were sold for substantial fees, and in an era where Financial Fair Play had been keeping a close eye on events down the Kings Road, such a strategy is commendable.

With their home-grown player quota looking pretty much finalised, Mourinho is free to assess what he needs most. We look at those areas he must address, and which players are most likely to be arriving at Stamford Bridge.

Striker

It is a near-certainty to see at least one new striking addition. Didier Drogba has made his second emotional exit from the club, but this time for good, while Loic Remy looks set to seek a move away in order to secure himself more regular first-team action.

Diego Costa’s combustible style and long-standing hamstring injury worries mean that reinforcements simply must be added. There is only so much horse placenta can cover up.

Radamel Falcao’s potential move has been the subject of much furore after a disappointing first Premier League season on-loan from Manchester United.

There is no doubting the Colombian hitman’s ability, and with a full pre-season under his belt, alongside international team-mate Juan Cuadrado, Falcao could thrive under Mourinho’s tutelage.

What’s more, it is thought Falcao would be willing to take a pay-cut in order to finalise the move – in-keeping with this new-found stringent transfer philosophy.

Charlie Austin has been surprisingly linked in recent weeks, which would add further numbers to the home-grown quota. He is a proven goalscorer who would command less of a fee than other names across Europe.

Centre-back

It seems strange to suggest that such a formidable rearguard needs strengthening, but if you see past that ever-present Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic unit, then there is little in reserve.

Kurt Zouma stepped up admirably when called upon last season, and kept Cahill out of the side for lengthy periods with some impressive displays, but otherwise there is not much cover in the middle.

John Terry isn’t getting any younger, and while he deserves a great deal of credit for staying injury-free in 2014/15 at the age of 34, he is unlikely to repeat such a feat again this coming campaign.

Raphael Varane is the name on everyone’s lips. One of the hottest prospects in Europe, the 22-year-old was brought into the senior fold at Real Madrid by then-coach Mourinho, and the Portuguese has remained an admirer ever since. The only stumbling block would be the inflated fee.

Atletico Madrid star Diego Godin is continually mentioned as a potential candidate, while John Stones has emerged as a possible long-term replacement for Terry.

Attacking midfield

Down the flanks, Chelsea have an abundance of potent attacking midfield options.

Player of the season Eden Hazard bamboozled defenders up and down the land, Juan Cuadrado has the pace and trickery to cause problems once he is settled, Willian showed flashes of his brilliance, while the returning Mohamed Salah could easily command a place in the side after impressing on-loan at Fiorentina.

Despite that, Sky sources say Raheem Sterling remains a Chelsea target. Manchester City have already had a £40m bid rejected by Liverpool, but his future at Anfield is far from certain.

As well as operating on the flanks, Sterling could provide an upgrade behind the striker, where the Blues are lacking that world class creative influencer.

Oscar is a fantastic option to have, but needs to weigh in with more goals - the combative Brazilian netted just six league goals last campaign.

While it is widely known Cesc Fabregas is adept at playing the creator, as his remarkable 18 assists last season shows, Mourinho prefers him in a deeper role, where the metronomic Spaniard is at his most influential.

Paul Pogba is reportedly another target. The ‘one that got away’ from Manchester United has become one of the most sought-after talents in the world – a status Juventus have been fully aware off when pricing up the Frenchman.

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