Chelsea 3-1 Southampton: Picture highlights
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Chelsea sporting director Marina Granovskaia might have a busy few months ahead with a mass exodus of Thomas Tuchel’s fringe stars on the cards. The Premier League side will likely want another big-spending transfer window as they continue to put pressure on the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table.
Granovskaia sanctioned some expensive departures in the latest window which allowed the club to complete the blockbuster £97.5million arrival of Romelu Lukaku.
Academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi departed for a combined £78m. Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta were allowed to leave at smaller costs.
But Chelsea still have a long list of players who are rarely being used by Tuchel. Many of those might be moved on to help the German boss build his dream squad.
Express Sport looks at which players sporting director Granovskaia will hold talks with about their futures.
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The Chelsea academy graduate has been one of the stand-out performers in the Premier League this season, excelling on loan at Crystal Palace.
Gallagher has been used by new Eagles boss Patrick Vieira as a slightly more advanced No 8. It is a different position to the deeper role he played in at West Brom last term.
The 21-year-old is dynamic and energetic. His displays will have certainly caught the eye of Tuchel, who might feel that Gallagher could fit seamlessly into one of the two central midfield positions in his 3-4-3.
Playing in a role higher up the pitch has brought the best out of Gallagher. He presses well – a necessity at both Palace and Chelsea – and has already matched the two goals he scored in 30 appearances for the Baggies in the previous season.
He helped Palace twice come from behind against West Ham in August with a well-taken brace.
A complete midfielder, Chelsea staff will undoubtedly have been impressed by his performances in the top-flight. Whether he will get regular football at Stamford Bridge next season is however another matter. He will have interest from elsewhere and the club’s transfer hierarchy might see him as someone who could attract sizable offers.
Loftus-Cheek finds himself in a difficult quandary. No longer a young player able to bide his time, the now 25-year-old needs to play football.
The Cobham graduate impressed on loan at Palace in 2017-18 and appeared to kick-start his Premier League career.
He seemed to have finally broken into the Chelsea team under Maurizio Sarri and even scored a hat-trick in a 2018 Europa League victory against BATE Borisov.
But an achilles injury kept the dynamic midfielder out for the best part of a year. An underwhelming temporary spell with relegated Fulham would have hardly enamoured Tuchel.
There have been five appearances for Loftus-Cheek this season, proving that he could be a suitable squad option for the Blues head coach. But his appearances will depend on whether he can keep himself fit.
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A first season in senior football for Broja ended well last term. The striker scored 10 goals in 30 Eredivisie appearances on loan at Vitesse Arnhem.
That form earned him a slightly surprising Premier League loan with Southampton. Chelsea often ship out their young stars to the Football League before testing them in the top-flight.
Even the likes of Mason Mount, Tomori (both Derby) and Abraham (Bristol City and Aston Villa) had to prove themselves in the divisions below the Premier League.
That Broja has not followed the same pathway could provide evidence for how much Chelsea rate him.
The 20-year-old has scored twice for the Saints in six appearances, although both came in the EFL Cup.
He will return to Stamford Bridge to find Lukaku in his way. There are few better strikers to learn from, but a positive spell at Southampton might tempt Broja to seek regular football elsewhere. And with a reputation as a burgeoning young striker, he’ll likely have plenty of suitors.
Barkley’s presence is often a forgotten one at Chelsea. It now seems a long time ago since he was hailed as one of England’s brightest prospects when Roy Hodgson oversaw the national team.
28 in December, the former Everton man’s Chelsea career has hardly gone to plan.
Injuries have frustrated his time at Stamford Bridge and he now finds himself behind a wave of big-money talent. The likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and new loan signing Saul Niguez occupy the deeper midfield spots.
Ahead of them, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech can all play the more advanced positions behind Lukaku.
A loan at Aston Villa last term had its highs but also several lows. Like Loftus-Cheek, Barkley struggles to remain fit.
He has made three appearances across all competitions this season, amounting to just 36 minutes. A cameo in the Premier League win over Southampton prior to the international break offered a glimpse of his quality.
However, a departure might be a good move for all parties, with Barkley afforded a fresh start and Chelsea able to free up space for Eden Hazard.
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