Chelsea: Hazard & Marin Just The Start?

It has been widely reported that the current Chelsea squad is in need of a shake-up, several of the clubs key players have aged somewhat. It is a squad that is increasingly looking imbalanced with argubly no natural width which has led RDM to play Ramires out wide right. With this inbalance in mind there is a lot of work for Chelsea to do in the transfer window, despite signing Hazard and Marin.

Potential sales

Trimming the fat is something that has been happening at Chelsea over the last year or so, Alex and Anelka being the most recent first teamers to be culled. With the FFP looming Chelsea need to sell a number of players in order to free up finances in the wage bill to bring in new players. Bosingwa and Ferriera could be vulnerble at the back as both have failed to cement a claim to the first team as Ivanovic is clearly the first choice right back at the club.

In midfield Essien would almost certainly be sold if a good offer comes in for him, despite being a fine player for the club overall his recent injuries have seriously hampered him and he doesn’t look anywhere near his best. A move to a league with a slower tempo could re-invigorate him. In terms of forward players Kalou has been selected quite regularly by RDM but this is also because Chelsea lack a player who can dribble and he fits that bill, with the signings of Hazard and Marin Kalou’s role may be redundant, and recent reports suggest he may be released.

Malouda also is almost certainly on the way out, again like Essien, a fine player for the club overall but over the last two seasons he has dipped and is also on relatively high wages. It was surprising to hear that the club may negotiate with Malouda, Ferriera and Essien when all three appear to be way past their best. Drogba is unfortunately set to leave the club as well after 8 fantastic seasons in the Premier League. All of these exits will significantly trim what is a very high wage bill and open up room in the squad for several new signings.

Areas to strengthen

If Bosingwa and Ferriera are sold bringing in a right back is crucial. Ivanovic is solid but a natural attacking option is required to add more balance to the squad. With Chelsea’s lack of wide options they tend to be quite narrow which is why an attacking right back could provide width in an otherwise congested side. One would expect Ivanovic to be the main right back next season but better cover is certainly required especially as Ivanovic doubles as Chelsea’s fourth choice centre back.

Chelsea’s forwards only contributed a paltry 11 goals this season, and with Drogba set to leave the club a new forward is surely a priority in the next transfer window. Lukaku is almost certain to go out on loan and it seems naive to expect Torres to hit 30 goals next season after only sporadic goal scoring success this year. Further to this it remains to be seen whether Sturridge represents realistic cover as a central attacking player.

If Chelsea continue to adopt a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 a support striker could be bought who can play both centrally and off the striker, or Chelsea could put more faith in Sturridge but he appears to have gone completely off the rails in the last few months only scoring one goal this year. The need for a striker has led to Chelsea being linked with Hulk, who could also play in the Sturridge role under AVB (wide right) as well as Falcao who is more an out an out forward. Falcao is probably unlikely due to the fact he’d directly challenge Torres, who we are lead to believe is now the main man at Chelsea.

Marin was likely signed as a squad player, and Chelsea have not signed a dynamic winger since the sales of Duff and Robben several seasons ago which has made their style of play relatively predictable. Chelsea’s top dribbler is Ramires with only 1.4 dribbles per game, this ranks him 14th in the league, with the top dribbler recording 2.6 per game. The signing of Edin Hazard thus makes sense, despite his inclination to come inside he has completed 2.3 dribbles per game which does mark an improvement in this regard. Generally speaking his signing signals real intent from Chelsea in the transfer market going into next season’s title race.

Midfield is cleary an area that needs freshening up. Having failed to add Modric last summer Chelsea have still yet to sign a creative central midfield passer. One could argue that in a 4-4-1-1 Mata does this role behind the striker and thus Chelsea only need to solid midfielders. If we look at the Premier League’s top 20 passes in terms of passes played per game there is only one Chelsea player and that is defender John Terry with 58.9 passes per game compared to the 77 passes per game played by the leagues top passer Arteta. Chelsea’s top passing midfielder is Lampard with significantly less passes than Arteta at 51.2 per game.

Chelsea arguably need to sign another box-to-box midfielder to cover for the potential sale of Essien. It should also be remembered that Oriol Romeu has had a good break through season and could look to challenge, whilst Lampard would probably play less football next season due to age, despite his fitness levels.


Thus Chelsea do need to move players on in order to create funds and re-balance the squad. Clearly a forward, a midfielder and a right back are absolutely crucial. The club look to have finally addressed the issue of a lack of creativity by signing Hazard who can run at people and create something out of nothing. Further to this more sales are required in order to re-balance an unbalanced squad.

Chelsea are going to need to seriously reshuffle the squad if they are to produce the sort of football Abramovich wants as well as tailor a side to suit Torres which will require more urgency in attack and players capable of playing quick passes in behind. Hazard will go some way to providing this buy a more creative deep lying midfielder may be required. On a general note one would expect Ramires to come back to his central midfield role with Hazard and Marin signed, as he was only makeshift in this role due to his pace.

The signing of Hazard could be the start of a serious rebuilding process that could go underway this summer as Abramovich looks to build a side capable of winning the Premier League next season.

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15 Responses to “Chelsea: Hazard & Marin Just The Start?”

  1. The answer to the midfield and rightback dillema is Mario Gotze and Van der Wiel. These guys are people that i’d like to have in chelsea shirt. If not then we do have exciting players coming from the academy.

  2. If Essien goes, well we have Ramires as true box to box mid. He deputised well when needed at right mid/wing/attack when we had no other option but missed him in the middle, so I don’t see us short there with Mikel or Romeu holding – pivot with Lamps or Meireles or other, maybe Josh or a simple 3 3 with obvious candidates. Maybe 1 more midfielder but I don’t see that as the issue. With Hazard more or less in the bag, Marin to come, options on De bruyne, Josh to come back and Paizon to possibly come in as fringe, our desperate need is obviously right back and if we get Van de Wiel, all is cool and Hulk would be a nice additional luxury

  3. The addition of hazard nd marin has bustered the squad nd could had more creativity to the team.but i dnt think they are still in nid of a central midfilder in the presence of john obi mikel,lampard,ramires nd,what i think is needed now is a right back who will fill the void of departing duo bosingwa nd ferreira.nd a likely addition of hulk is still considerable

  4. Do you think that the youth players (Lukaku, Piazon, Courtois, De Bruyne, McEachran, Chalobah etc could make an impact next year?

    VDW and Falcao would certainly make them a force to be reckoned with next season…

  5. but you must consider the fact that Essien has the ability to recover quickly from bad form. he has the ability to shoot from 30 yards out.and the ability to cut passes when he regains form. selling him will be a hasty decision.

  6. I love our current Chelsea squad but we do need a shake up with a new generation to carry the torch for the next decade and now is the time for this overhaul as the FFP is’ll be the last chance for us to spend big on a “new” squad. Ferreira (probably the most loyal player in the game, the best squad player but will never feature on a regular basis again), Essien (was great but are more on the injury list than on the pitch), Malouda (I don’t think he fits into our new current system and style), Drogba (already made up his mind and his departure will be great for a much younger Torres), Kalou (are released..didn’t ever think I was gonna say this but aren’t to happy to him see go) and Bosingwa (if he haven’t picked up injuries..would have been up there with the best but sadly isn’t) can go. All of them good players have served Chelsea well. We need a change at RB. The best option is van der Wiel! We MUST get van der Wiel! Mikel and Romeu are good to anchor the middle. With Lampard aging and Meireles not the best in the world,(but also not the worst), we need another central mid fielder. Someone like Toni Kroos! We have Hazard to play one side out wide but I think another winger/striker would do. Hulk would be great as he is versatile.

    I also do think we should stick with a “flexible” 433/451 formation!
    Imagine a squad like this:
    Goalkeepers: Cech, Turnbull, Hilario, Courtois
    Defense: van der Wiel, Hutchinson, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand, Cole
    Mid Field: Mikel, Romeu, Meireles, Lampard, McEachren, Kroos, Mata, Hazard, Marin, De Bruyn,
    Attack: Sturridge, Lukaku, Hulk, Torres
    Imagine a time like this:

    Luiz. Terry.
    Van der Wiel. Cole.

    Hazard. Hulk.


  7. We need to buy quality and it looks as though we are, however we also need to look to the academy as well.

    A Marc has said Piazon looks like he is coming through next season, and I’d also look at Chalobah, Kane & Blackman to step into the first team properly.

    Add to that Josh coming back, along with the purchases of De Bruyne, Marin & Hazard and we suddenly look pretty fresh.

    If we went for Van Der Weil, I would move Ivanovic back into the centre back position with Kane as VDW’s back up.

    Chalobah looks a natural holding CM to me with Piazon then being groomed to assist Mata & Hazard in the creative areas.

    One area for me that needs strengthing is the back up goalkeeper. Assuming Courtois stays out in Spain for another season, then maybe another season over in England, we need better cover for Cech.

    We have been very fortunate that Cech has played the bulk of the last two seasons without a serious injury that has kept him out for a considerable time.

    In my opinion, Turnbull & Hilario are not good enough. I think it’s time Turnbull left and was replaced by a suitable/better 2nd keeper until both Courtois & Blackman are ready. Hilario has signed a new 1 year deal which makes sense whilst Blackman is progressed onwards in his development.

    Other than that we need another striker to replace Didier and maybe one more midfielder. I personally like the look of the free scoring Michu from Spain who can be available for as little as £3m.

    The striker is likely to be Hulk

  8. Marc,u’ve said it all. Chelsea for greatness and fluidity. Up Chelsea!

  9. We will be the best team if we find modric or moura

  10. The squad is starting to look like its taking shape, we need 3 more signings.

    I agree on Hulk, as he’s more like a cross between Drogba & Sturridge due to his ability to play the wings rather than in direct competition with Torres.

    Van der Wiel is a brilliant attacking right back who would fit in well, and a backup keeper is MUCH required.

    With Mata, Hazard, Marin & maybe De Bruyne, building the team to suit Torres is looking good, he’s the kind of striker who needs many creative players to pass him the ball, now he’s more confident in front of goal, we could get 25-30 goals out of him in all comps next year.

  11. Adding Hulk would be awesome. They need to let Torres be the man. He doesn’t play as good or have the confidence when he is on the bench. We payed 50 million pounds for him now let the guy have his spot being the number 1 guy. I bet he will do much better.

  12. U guys have said it all. We shouldn’t depend on buying @ all times. There’s need to promote d highly improved players from d academy in other to give them a sense of belongings for them to know that they’re d clubs future. DROGBA has said it all that TORRES should be given d grace to lead d front line. He said and i quote ” drogba has become a history while Torres remain chesea”s future. Also, that, it took him 3 solid yrs before he could finally settled @ d club” I believe in Torre, he would deliver come next season. He’s up to d task. BLUES TILL I DIE.

  13. We hv a very good player nd we re ready 4 next season. Up blues d champion… 1 luv. Kiss

  14. Prem is coming home

  15. Chelsea reserve team could somewhat be answer to this dillema. i have faith in Paizon and fast-runner B. And should Chelsea fc add these young ones, next season will be unbelievable in the face of EPL and the world as a whole. plz keep buying more stars like modric, cavani, hulk and falcao knowing that these young ones get chance to play comes next season.