Three key issues Chelsea need to resolve before their 2021/22 season kicks off

They’re the Champions of Europe, with one football’s most admired coaches at the helm, and yet there's still plenty of conundrums for Chelsea to solve this summer.
Three key issues Chelsea need to resolve before their 2021/22 season kicks offThree key issues Chelsea need to resolve before their 2021/22 season kicks off
Three key issues Chelsea need to resolve before their 2021/22 season kicks off

Now the ghosts of England's Euro 2020 final heartbreak are safely suppressed - still haven't watched the highlights, never will - attention has turned to domestic action, and the build-up to the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.

Joint-second favourites to win the competition, alongside Liverpool and behind Manchester City, Chelsea will be looking to follow up their Champions League success by winning the top tier title for the first time since 2017, when Antonio Conte's side blitzed their way to glory with 30 wins from 38 matches.

Here’s a look at three key issues Chelsea need to address ahead of the new season:

Do Chelsea blow the budget on a superstar striker?

Every day, it seems, there's a fresh, often uninspiring 'update' in Chelsea's apparent pursuit of Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland, but it appeats unlikely that anyone is going to meet his lofty £150m+ price tag this summer.

That said, you can never rule out Blues owner Roman Abramovich dipping into his cavernous pockets and treating Chelsea fans to a shiny new superstar.

As the club continue to be linked with strikers, you've really got to feel for Timo Werner, who was written off by some within mere weeks of his underwhelming first season at Stamford Bridge.

Cast your mind back to a certain Ivorian forward's - no, not Salomon Kalou! - first couple of seasons at Stamford Bridge; like Werner, Didier Drogba got off to a far from spectacular start, but was given the chance to adapt to the Premier League, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Mind you, given that Chelsea's top scorer in the league last season was midfielder Jorginho with just seven goals (all of which came from the penalty spot), the side clearly need to showcase more of an attacking threat this season.

Will Reece James be moulded into a centre-back?

Upon the German coach's arrival Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta slotted into the centre-back position, but he often swapped positions with James towards the tail-end of the season.

Arguably, James is a lovely fit to play on the right side of the back three, and has the relentless pace necessary to hurtle back and help out his fellow centre-backs when blunders are made.

For now, though, he's unquestionably the best wing-back option Chelsea have got, and Azpilicueta, while a criminally underrated player, can't match the England international's invaluable crossing ability.

Which 'Loan Army' veterans will be kept on?

Early pre-season at Chelsea is always a trip down memory lane, with long-forgotten players - £35m 2017 signing Danny Drinkwater, anyone? - trudging wearily out to training at Cobham, following arduous campaigns of shop-window pirouetting with the likes of Vitesse Arnheim and Trabzonspor.

Tuchel's job is now to sort the wheat from the chaff - or the Ruben Loftus-Cheek from the Baba Rahman, if you will - before the summer transfer window closes, and nail down his 25-man squad.

While it's hard to imagine the likes of Kenedy or Matt Miazga breaking into the side, the likes of Ross Barkley and Tiemoué Bakayoko and Dujon Sterling will all be fighting to prove their worth and be included.