Three Chelsea players who really need to improve in 2022, including £58m puzzle - TCC View
For Chelsea, they’ve got an extremely talented squad that have achieved great things in 2021.
The Blues have been transformed into a top side working under manager Thomas Tuchel, so there is a real positive feel around Stamford Bridge.
However, they still need to go up another gear.
Tuchel’s side are third in the Premier League table behind Manchester City and Liverpool, who are the main domestic rivals they need to strive to be better than.
The Chelsea Chronicle has looked at three current Blues players that really need to raise their game in 2022.
First of all, £58million American forward Christian Pulisic is an individual that needs to improve in the New Year.
Yes, it’s harsh to call out certain players. But, Pulisic must come under the spotlight because he’s a superstar in the making that needs to be pushed harder.
The 23-year-old attacker has shown in a Chelsea shirt he can be outstanding, especially when he’s operating from wide positions dribbling at opponents with pace and flair.
He’s had a spate of injuries in the last couple of years that may have stalled his progress, but he needs to mark down 2022 as the year he really steps up.
Pulisic has the ability to nail a spot in the Chelsea XI and he’s shown he can be a serious goal threat. He’s in danger of slipping even further down the pecking order at this rate, though.
The speedster is an interesting puzzle because Tuchel needs to somehow unlock his full potential.
Saul Niguez, 27, clearly falls into the category of needing to improve in the next calendar year.
In fairness, he delivered an encouraging cameo performance from the bench in the recent Premier League draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However, Chelsea would be mad to consider turning his current season-long loan deal from Atletico Madrid into a permanent one.
It seems doubtful that the left-footed central midfielder will be bombarded with playing time by Tuchel, but he has to try be positive on the ball and make a difference whenever he’s involved.
If he recaptures his best form, Chelsea would have a jewel in their ranks. It’s going to take something quite drastic for that to happen, though.
For Romelu Lukaku, he’ll know better than anybody that Chelsea desperately need him to step up in 2022.
The Belgian centre-forward can’t help his recent absence because of injury and illness, which is why it’s not yet time for the club to panic over the fact they splashed out £97.5million to sign him from Inter Milan in the summer.
He’s shown flashes of what he can do so far this season, scoring five goals in 16 appearances. The 28-year-old must improve on those kind of numbers in the second half of the campaign to help the club chase down silverware across the board, though.
Lukaku is the individual on this three-man list that should have the smallest problem stepping up, as he should be back to his very best once his confidence is restored from a couple of goals.
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