Declan Rice: Declan Rice continues to be linked with a move away from West Ham United – and Thomas Tuchel has reportedly sung the praises of the England International. He was released from Chelsea at 14 after spending seven years in the Chelsea academy. Rice then joined West Ham and progressed through their academy before making his debut against Burnley on the final day of the 2016/17 season.
Chelsea had plenty of bodies in midfield last season, but it felt they were lacking in quality in the central midfield area. Rice would make a massive impact at Chelsea. At just 23-years-old, he would bring leadership to the Chelsea squad, which they lost through Rudiger and will lose more with the protein departure of Azpilcueta.
Chelsea have once again been heavily linked with Sevilla and French international defender Jules Kounde.
Sevilla club director Jose Maria Cruz de Andres has conceded they are fighting a losing battle to keep Kounde. With Rudiger having left and more departures seemingly on the cards, an upgrade in defence is a priority for Chelsea. Levi Colwill will have a chance to impress Tuchel in pre-season, but according to reports, Jules Konde is a priority for Chelsea.
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He reads the game very well, which helps him time his tackles brilliantly, and is comfortable stepping out of defence and intercepting dangerous attacks allowing his teammates to launch attacks. Having Kounde with his skillset would upgrade the Chelsea defence instantly.
The last player of the three we are looking at is Gabriel Jesus. According to reports, Gabriel Jesus’s agent has confirmed exit talks. Jesus offers any potential suitor versatility in attack. He can play as an out and out number 9, out wide or as a false 9. With Romelu Lukaku heading toward the Stamford Bridge exit, Chelsea seem sure to bring in a striker and Jesus fits the bill, according to reports.
Jesus is impressive with the ball at his feet. He’s direct, with good balance making him a nightmare to mark. His superb balance and acceleration mean he can receive the ball on the half-turn – drop a shoulder and skate away from his marker. His close control is impressive, which has seen him chop many defenders and leave them floundering. He is adept at dropping into pockets of space and linking up with his teammates. When he finds these pockets, he’s a nightmare to mark. He can link up with teammates – or drive at the opposition defence.