Marcus Thuram and Joao Felix adding cutting edge and Alexis Mac Allister slotting into midfield… how Graham Potter’s Chelsea starting XI could set up in February if they secure their transfer targets
- Boss Graham Potter is eager to reinforce his squad during the January window
- Todd Boehly is willing to splash the cash despite spending £271m in the summer
- Chelsea have reached a verbal agreement to sign 23-year-old star Joao Felix
- The Blues are also looking to secure the services of Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister
- The likes of Chilwell and James will be important when they return from injury
Graham Potter is eager to reinforce his squad during the January transfer window and Todd Boehly is more than willing the splash the cash on some new signings despite spending £271million in the summer.
Chelsea signed 11 new players in the summer – with the likes of Denis Zakaria (loan), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10m), Marc Cucurella (£62m), Raheem Sterling (£50m) and Kalidou Koulibaly (£34m) joining their ranks.
However, Chelsea are interested in signing more players during the January window as Aubameyang and others have failed to live up to expectations. Potter is also looking to fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku.
So, with that in mind, Sportsmail have looked at how Potter’s starting XI could look when the January transfer window closes.
Boss Graham Potter is eager to reinforce his squad during the January transfer window
Chelsea have reached a verbal agreement to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid. Sportsmail understands that Chelsea will pay a loan fee of around £9million.
That rate is well below the £13.25m Atletico initially wanted, but they will cover his wages for the rest of the season.
Therefore, Felix – who has scored four goals and provided three assists in 14 LaLiga appearances – could start up front for the Blues after the transfer window closes.
Todd Boehly is willing the splash the cash despite spending £271million in the summer
Felix could be joined by Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram as Chelsea are eager to secure his services.
However, it’s uncertain whether Chelsea could persuade Monchengladbach and Thuram to do business this month.
Raheem Sterling is likely to start for Potter. The 28-year-old is Chelsea’s top scorer so far this season – albeit with four goals.
Mason Mount has been the linchpin for Chelsea’s midfield over the last few years. However, he has come under fire for his recent performances.
Fans slammed his performance against Manchester City in the FA Cup. But, Potter is likely to show faith in the 24-year-old and keep him in his starting XI.
This may help persuade Mount to sign a contract extension – given his current deal is set to expire in 2024.
Chelsea are closing in on signing 23-year-old Portuguese international Joao Felix (above)
Mount could be joined by Alexis Mac Allister in the midfield line as Chelsea stepped up their interest in the 24-year-old after his World Cup campaign with Argentina.
However, competition of his signature will be high – with Arsenal, Manchester United, Juventus and Atletico Madrid interested.
Denis Zakaria could cement himself in Potter’s starting XI as he needs a defensive midfielder in there too.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s backline could feature Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Benoit Badiashile and Reece James.
The Premier League side are also looking to secure the services of Alexis Mac Allister (right)
Badiashile (above) will also feature for Potter after the 21-year-old starlet joined the club from Monaco on a seven-and-a-half year deal for £35m last week
However, Chilwell and James’ inclusion depends on their injuries. James is expected to return at the end of January while Chilwell has been spotted dribbling with a ball during an individual training session.
Therefore, both players could return after the January window closes. But, regardless of when they return, they will slot straight back into Potter’s backline.
Badiashile will also feature for Potter after the 21-year-old starlet joined the club from Monaco on a seven-and-a-half year deal for £35m last week.
Kepa Arrizabalaga will be between the sticks for Potter. He rediscovered his confidence before the Christmas break and knocked Edouard Mendy off the top spot.
Reece James and Ben Chilwell will play a major role if they are both fit at the end of January