With the calendar year nearly up, The Chelsea Chronicle has delivered three bold predictions looking ahead to 2023.
The Blues have just one final fixture to play this year, which is on Tuesday evening at home to Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Graham Potter’s side begins the New Year with a trip to Nottingham Forest. Afterwards, there’s an intriguing double-header against rivals Manchester City.
Chelsea predictions in 2023
It’s certainly a rollercoaster ride being a Chelsea fan, who watched a change of ownership and manager during the past 12 months.
You never quite know what to expect at Stamford Bridge, but here are three very bold predictions that could lie in store.
Fofana will become first-choice CB
If you ask every Chelsea supporters the first-choice centre-back at the club right now, you’d be shocked if the majority answer wasn’t Thiago Silva.
Next, Blues academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah would have to be right in the mix as the most reliable and trusted centre-half in the current squad.
In our view, things will shift during the next 12 months and it will look different at the end of 2023.
Wesley Fofana, whose bad luck with injury has wrecked the start of his Chelsea career since his summer arrival, should be recognised as the club’s leading centre-back this time next year.
The 22-year-old’s talent has perhaps been forgotten a tad, but this is a defender that showed at Leicester City he can be one of the Premier League’s top players.
If he stays fit, we can picture him becoming a nailed-on starter in Potter’s side. This is regardless of if he plays a back three or a back four, too.
The great news is that Fofana’s said he’s feeling fit and fresh leading up to the return to action, so now is the time for him to show how good he really is.
Sterling will score for fun
Raheem Sterling has kickstarted his Chelsea career with glimpses of quality without sparkling at his very best, but he will have a memorable 2023 at Stamford Bridge.
We are putting our necks on the line by saying the Blues forward will score for fun over the course of the next calendar year. In fact, expect him to score at a rate of at least one goal every two games.
His record of five goals in 19 Chelsea appearances represents a fairly modest season so far. However, he’s simply too good a player to be kept quiet.
The opportunities around the box should be there on a plate for him once Potter settles on his best formation and personnel, something you’d hope will happen quickly post-World Cup.
In our view, Sterling will be way out in front as Chelsea’s top scorer in 2023.
Kai Havertz will be sold
In our view, the chances of Kai Havertz leaving next month are extremely slim. However, there’s a different conversation to be had when the summer rolls around.
Looking into our crystal ball we can see the 23-year-old attacker trying his best for the rest of the season, with the responsibility on his shoulders even more now that Armando Broja is sidelined with a long-term injury.
There’s no doubt the German is capable of big moments because he’s got amazing individual talent, but there’s no doubt the pressure is mounting on him from the fanbase. If he can’t hit the ground running straight after the World Cup, it feels like he’ll have lost the trust of supporters for good.
The £71million star is in his third season now at the Bridge and you can’t really blame his biggest critics too much any longer when they rage at him.
The third and final prediction is that Havertz finishes 2023 playing at a different club. Our guess, Bayern Munich.
He’s a good enough player to make a mockery of this prediction, let’s hope he does and becomes the player he can be in a Chelsea shirt. It feels like his best days may lie ahead at a rival team, though.
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