Thomas Tuchel has successfully transformed Chelsea into one of the Premier League’s best sides since taking over at Stamford Bridge in January. The German boss has only lost four of his 28 matches in charge of the Blues, reaching both the FA Cup and Champions League finals in the process.
His three-at-the-back system has worked wonders for Chelsea’s defensive output, with the west London club earning no less than 18 clean sheets in all competitions under his guidance.
However, there are still a number of problems that need to be ironed out in order to stand the best chance of achieving Premier League glory next season.
The 47-year-old has struggled to get the best out of his attackers, with Timo Werner in particular failing to live up to expectations since his summer move from RB Leipzig.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud is out of contract and approaching the twilight of his career at 34 years of age, and Tammy Abraham seems to be way down the pecking order despite his status as Chelsea’s joint-top scorer.
If Tuchel is serious about ousting Manchester City from their Premier League perch, a new striker will undoubtedly be required to come in and lead the line next season.
JUST IN: Chelsea chief offers transfer hint with Champions League final vow
The Blues boss has regularly deployed Kai Havertz as a makeshift centre-forward in recent outings, but the versatile 21-year-old is yet to prove that he can be a long-term solution at the top of the pitch.
He would exert a bigger influence in a creative role, meaning that an out-and-out No 9 should be Chelsea’s main priority going into the summer transfer window.
The likes of Erling Haaland, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane have all been linked with the Stamford Bridge club in recent weeks, with the big-money signing of a world-class striker able to elevate Tuchel’s side to new heights.
Despite Chelsea’s defensive strengths as of late, the addition of a solid centre-back could be another shrewd move in order to prevent the Blues from becoming too reliant on Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian veteran, who is expected to sign a new one-year contract ahead of next season, has impressed on plenty of occasions but his retirement appears to be quickly approaching, which will inevitably leave Chelsea in need of a long-term replacement.
The future of Fikayo Tomori is also uncertain at present, with AC Milan weighing up a permanent bid for his services after a successful loan spell at the San Siro.
Maxence Lacriox of Wolfsburg is the latest player to have been mentioned in connection with a move to Stamford Bridge, but it remains to be seen whether the Blues will go for a bigger name in the form of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane or Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule.
If Roman Abramovich is prepared to part ways with even more of his millions after shelling out for a striker and a central defender, he could be tempted to fund a move out of left field for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.
It is no secret that the England star has been tracked by Manchester United for some time, but it has recently been suggested that the Red Devils could face stiff competition from the Blues in the race for his signature.
While Chelsea’s dressing room is already stacked with creative talent, a move for Sancho would represent a significant upgrade on the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi and provide a smattering of star quality.
The Blues could be inclined to sacrifice one of their existing options in order to seal the Camberwell native’s signature, but whether or not they would be willing to meet his reported £80million asking price is another matter.
Although Tuchel has passed the majority of his early tests with flying colours, the upcoming transfer window has the potential to make or break his first full season at the helm next time around.
It will be crucial for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss to make the right decisions as he will be painfully aware of the implications if he fails to deliver the goods.
Abramovich is not exactly renowned for his patience, but Tuchel has shown plenty of promise and will be looking to prove his worth as a lasting option by overseeing a fruitful summer break.