'Going to be hard': Paul Merson says how many new players Chelsea need next season

Paul Merson thinks Chelsea already need to find themselves three new players in defence for next season.

For Chelsea, all transfer talk is on hold during the current sanctions imposed on the club. Hopefully, the takeover process can be pushed through as soon as possible to help get back to some normality that allows the Blues to work on transfers once again.

One of the main talking points is around players out of contract.

As it stands, Andreas Christensen (linked with Barcelona) and Antonio Rudiger (linked with Barcelona) are both out of contract at the end of this season. It means the duo appear to be leaving for the exit doors this summer, especially with strong interest from Spanish giants Barcelona.

If the centre-back pair both depart, it’ll mean there’s a huge gap in the squad in defence.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is another defender that’s had plenty of rumours around his future, but it’s been confirmed a one-year extension has been triggered in his contract to keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2023. Also, manager Thomas Tuchel is now fairly confident the Spaniard will stay beyond the summer.

Merson does feel like there’s a lot of work for the Blues to do when it comes to reshaping their defence and recommends they need three new centre-halves. He points out Thiago Silva turns 38 in September, too.

“Chelsea already need to find three centre halves. Andreas Christensen is leaving. Antonio Rudiger doesn’t look like he’s staying either. Thiago Silva is another year older. Even Cesar Azpilicueta could go. It’s going to be hard for Chelsea,” Merson wrote.

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chelsea XI could look quite different

The fact that the Blues don’t know yet whether they’ll be ready to sign players when the summer window opens casts major doubt over everything.

Levi Colwill, impressing out on loan with Huddersfield Town, is a centre-back option that should come into contention for next season’s squad without the need of signing a player. Of course, Tuchel will check him out in pre-season to see if he’s ready.

It does feel like Chelsea will need the some help from the new owners straight away, though, to reinvest in some top-class replacements at the back.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.