Mauricio Pochettino is going to start having some really big selection headaches moving forward as we start to get more of the injured players back to full fitness.
It’s a hugely tough task, but what about when everyone is back fit? What if we ever had a fully fit squad? Who plays then?
It’s a hugely impossible task to select our best Xl out of our entire squad, and it’s something that I said yesterday I was glad was down to Pochettino and not me. But today, I have set myself a task to make it down to me.
It’s been almost impossible. In fact, it HAS been impossible, and I’m still not fully happy with my choice. But after pondering and head scratching for a big amount of time, I have come up with what I think would be our best Xl when everyone is fit. I guess we just have to be thankful that we are in this position and to be honest, I’d still be more than happy with our lineup if some of the names below were different to what I have selected. That’s a great position to be in.
I’ll explain the selections below, but this is my best Chelsea Xl with the current squad:
Some absolutely impossible calls in here, but the toughest was leaving out Conor Gallagher, the player who I also think has been our best overall and most consistent performer so far this season.
So how on earth am I leaving Gallagher out?
Honestly, I just think that the midfield balance when Romeo Lavia comes in is best setup this way and unfortunately, Gallagher is the victim of that.
Lavia is a player I rate highly and believe he needs to play when he comes in, allowing Caicedo to play a little further forward as he likes to do and effect the game in other areas as well. It’s very harsh to drop Gallagher, I completely realise that. But I’m a huge fan of Lavia and have been watching him since a young age and see how important he can be to this team and this setup. I’d still be fully happy and content if Gallagher was starting over him though, and that’s where we are at.
The other toughest call is leaving out Raheem Sterling, especially for Mykhailo Mudryk who I am still not 100% fully convinced on yet. But that must be testament to how well Mudryk has played in his last handful of games for us and I am thinking that by the time we have Christopher Nkunku back, Mudryk should be fully firing.
Cole Palmer is a must start for me so that one was easy, and I’d let him have that free roaming role and allowing Reece James to overlap and play quite advanced with the cover of Lavia behind him.
Nkunku I’d rather not play as a striker, but to get the rest of the players I want starting in, then it’s really the only option for him. He can certainly play in that position mind and could be really good there. But really, we still need to sign that proven striker.
The back four was also really tough to call. I have to say that Wesley Fofana’s injuries concern me, so I might need to reassess this call. But if everyone is fit for a sustained period then Fofana for me is one of our best centre backs, but only if he comes back to his top condition. Benoit Badiashile is closely behind him. Levi Colwill, like Cole Palmer, is a must start for me.
Ben Chilwell behind Mudryk for me would create more problems for defenders and help give Mudryk more space to operate in.
The only weaknesses I see here is the striker and goalkeeper departments, and there might be a conversation to be had about left backs moving forward as well. But that is for another day.