'Big summer': Paul Merson shares the signings which should be Chelsea's top priority now
Paul Merson says Chelsea need to sign defenders when they focus on transfers in the upcoming summer window.
It feels like a huge summer ahead for the Blues, who will need the takeover to be completed before they can actually enter the market.
There’s numerous rumours about which defenders will still be in Thomas Tuchel’s squad next season, so many predict Chelsea will need several new faces in their backline.
Antonio Rudiger is leaving at the end of the season, while Andreas Christensen is another Chelsea centre-back out of contract this summer. It’s been reported that Barcelona will end up signing Christensen on a free transfer.
In addition, the future of versatile Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta is up in the air. Tuchel’s even explained discussions are ongoing with him about his future. Barcelona are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Chelsea’s left wing-back Marcos Alonso, too.
Merson says Chelsea need to sign defenders
The potential defensive exodus at Stamford Bridge in the very near future is a big worry.
Pundit Merson is keen to stress Chelsea need to pull their resources together to focus on prioritising defensive signings.
“Chelsea have a big summer coming up. With a handful of key players set to leave the club at the end of the season, they need a few players to shore up their backline. However, they can’t do any business till the new owners come in, so they’re stuck in a bit of a sticky situation at the moment,” Merson said.
“Antonio Rudiger will be a massive miss for them, while Andreas Christensen has shown his quality under Thomas Tuchel. Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are also being linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge, so defensive reinforcements are the need of the hour for the Blues.”
It may take time for Chelsea to rebuild the same kind of defensive structure that was so effective during the first half of this season. For certain, they’ll need a solid backline to get anywhere near to challenging Manchester City and Liverpool.