From the outside, it looks like Chelsea have enjoyed a good campaign. The Blues finished third in the Premier League table to seal a Champions League spot for next season. Next Wednesday, the Blues will also take part in the first all-English Europa League final against Arsenal, which they are favourites to win.
The team from south west London should be looking forward to a summer of strengthening. However, instead, they could face a difficult one.
Major issues for the Blues this summer
Despite their qualification for the Champions League for next season, Chelsea will be unable to attract new players to the club, as they are currently banned from registering new players for the next two transfer windows. They have appealed the decision stands.
The position of boss Maurizio Sarri is also in question. Both Juventus and Roma have been linked with summer moves for the former Napoli boss. Sarri’s style of football has come in for fierce criticism at Chelsea this season.
It would not be a major surprise if the experienced boss returned to his homeland this summer, especially as Juventus are the dominant force in the Italian top-flight. A move to Turin could be one that appeals to Sarri.
Eden Hazard could exit the club
Real Madrid have been consistently linked with a move for Belgian star Eden Hazard. The 28-year-old has told the Blues his thoughts on his future.
Sky Sports are claiming that Chelsea want £130million this summer, but Los Blancos only rate the forward in the £88million-bracket. The fact that Hazard has just 12 months left on his deal in the English capital is obviously a factor in the Spaniard’s valuation of the winger.
Reportedly, Hazard’s situation will become much clearer after the Europa League final. The Blues obviously do not want to lose their star player. The fact that Chelsea cannot sign a replacement is also not ideal. However, the forward’s fast-expiring contract will most likely force their hands.
Chelsea have to weather the storm this summer
If Chelsea’s transfer ban sticks and Sarri and Hazard leaves, then the Blues will have to weather the storm this summer and use the players at their disposal. They have an absolute mountain of players on loan elsewhere who could return to the club.
They will not be short of numbers. However, there may be question marks over the quality. One positive for the Blues is that some of their young players may get a chance in the first-team this season.
The likes of Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have impressed out on loan in the lower leagues. It is a big step up to the Premier League, but it will give them a chance to prove that they are good enough to play in the English top-flight.
This summer could be a hectic one at Chelsea, despite their transfer ban. The Blues still have a lot of quality in their squad, even without the Hazard, so it is not the end of the world, but losing their best player and boss in one summer is not the best way for Chelsea to prepare for a season back in the Champions League.
How will Chelsea cope with a transfer ban this summer?