Chelsea’s dazzling new XI with Frenkie de Jong and three other signings

Darren Lewis reviews Chelsea's win against Club America

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Chelsea have been widely linked with an incredible hijacking of Manchester United’s lengthy pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The Red Devils made the Dutchman a top target after appointing Erik ten Hag, but De Jong does not seem especially keen on a move to Old Trafford. 

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel could hammer an early blow into United’s Champions League qualification hopes by signing De Jong instead. Here is how Chelsea could line up for their Premier League opener against Everton if the 25-year-old and three other targets are signed. 

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy has become the undisputed No 1 at Chelsea over the last few years. The Senegalese shot-stopper missed only four Premier League games last season. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga could leave the club this summer, with Napoli apparently interested in the Spaniard. Mendy should be ready for fresh competition should Kepa depart and a new No 2 arrive.

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Defenders: Jules Kounde, Presnel Kimpembe, Kalidou Koulibaly

There is a strong chance that Tuchel could start with an entirely new back three come the start of the season. The departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger left Chelsea scrambling for defensive reinforcements. 

The West Londoners failed in pursuits of their former star Nathan Ake from Manchester City and now-Bayern Munich ace Matthijs de Ligt. but they finally managed to bring in long-term target Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli. 

Chelsea are also hopeful of wrapping up a deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, a year after a lengthy transfer saga ended up with the Frenchman being denied a move to the club. A £51m bid has apparently been accepted. 

With Thiago Silva turning 38 a month into the new season, Chelsea could target yet another central defender. They have been linked with Paris Saint Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe. 

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Midfielders: Reece James, Frenkie de Jong, Jorginho, Ben Chilwell

It would be quite a coup, and an extreme blow to a big rival, if Chelsea beat United to the signing of De Jong from Barcelona. The Red Devils have chased the former Ajax star ever since appointing Ten Hag and have at times seemed close to finally agreeing a transfer. 

A move has been held up partly due to De Jong’s seeming reluctance to leave Camp Nou for Old Trafford, and partly because he is due around £17m in deferred wages by the La Liga club. Chelsea can offer him Premier League football and a consistency in reaching the latter stages of domestic and European cup competitions. United cannot. 

That could make a transfer to Chelsea much more appealing. 

He could line up next to Jorginho in a technically excellent midfield double pivot. Reece James and Ben Chilwell will occupy the wing-back positions. 

Attackers: Mason Mount, Victor Osimhen, Raheem Sterling

Chelsea’s only attacking addition this summer has been Raheem Sterling, despite the departure of Romelu Lukaku and the rumoured exits of several other forwards. The Blues spent £50m to prise the England attacker away from Man City. 

Tuchel has not been too strongly linked with signing a new centre forward and could hand the No 9 role to Kai Havertz on a full-time basis. But should he want to enter the transfer market for a striker, he should try to sign Victor Osimhen from Napoli. 

Koulibaly’s former team-mate has caught the attention of clubs across Europe due to his form in Italy. He scored 18 goals across all competitions last season and is more mobile than Lukaku. 

Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic will battle it out for the final attacking position. 

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