Chelsea completed the £58million signing of Christian Pulisic earlier this week to begin what is expected to be a rather busy transfer window for the club.
The 20-year-old forward, a United States international, will link up with his new team in the summer after spending the remainder of the season on loan at former club Borussia Dortmund.
Sarri has plans to further strengthen his side throughout January, and, if reports are to be believed, a number of deals have already been lined up by Chelsea.
But how could the Blues look come the end of January and the close of the transfer window?
talkSPORT.com have assessed the possibilities to create Chelsea’s potential starting line-up at the end of the January transfer window, which you can see below…
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Starting from the back, Chelsea will look to rely on their current goalkeeper for years to come. Kepa Arrizabalaga was made the world’s most expensive goalkeeper throughout the summer and he has slotted into Sarri’s team fluidly in the months since.
Sarri has stuck with a consistent back four during his time as Chelsea’s manager, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso starting all of the Blues’ 20 Premier League matches so far. David Luiz, the centre-back, completes Sarri’s first-choice defence, though the Brazilian has been rested for one game.
Wholesale changes are unlikely, but Luiz could be replaced given he becomes a free agent in six months and there is no sign a new contract is close.
Germany defender Mats Hummels has been linked with a January move to Stamford Bridge with Bayern Munich, his current club, willing to sell. £30million will be enough for Chelsea to afford Hummels, who would slot into the back-four alongside his national team-mate Rudiger.
Jorginho, a summer signing from Sarri’s former club Napoli, is guaranteed to remain Chelsea’s metronome at the base of midfield, and N’Golo Kante’s improvement over the past couple of months ensures he will continue in the box-to-box role.
Sarri is still yet to decide upon who is first-choice for the final midfield position. Mateo Kovacic has played the most of the three options, though Ross Barkley has been used in heavy rotation and Ruben Loftus-Cheek has impressed in occasional cameos.
Reports of a swoop for Nicolo Barella, however, suggest Sarri remains unconvinced by his options for the final midfield position. The 21-year-old has been dubbed ‘the next Andrea Pirlo’, while he has also earned comparisons with Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard.
Primarily a central midfielder, Barella can also play in a more advanced role and has proven to a quite remarkable all-round player – though goal scoring is not one of his strongest traits.
Sarri has demanded more goals from his midfield, and Barella hardly seems the kind of player who will increase Chelsea’s output in the final third, though there is no doubting the youngster’s quality.
Scoring goals has not only been a problem for Chelsea’s midfield, however, with their attack also struggling to find the back of the net.
Eden Hazard is as reliable as ever, but his future is up in the air as he continues to stall over a new deal.
Willian and Pedro are not regular goalscorers, and neither Olivier Giroud nor Alvaro Morata have proven themselves to be the top class centre-forward Sarri requires.
Callum Wilson of Bournemouth is reportedly a shock target for the Blues, while Sarri is claimed to have wanted Gonzalo Higuain at Stamford Bridge since the summer.
However, the latest reports back a £50million move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, who has proven his goal scoring abilities in both Italy and France.
There is no doubting Cavani would be an almost sure bet to solve Chelsea’s problems in the final third, though he turns 32 next month and £50million is a lot of money to spend on a player with no guaranteed long-term future.
Pulisic has been backed to become the long-term replacement for Willian and Pedro, both of whom are in their thirties, when he arrives at Stamford Bridge prior to the start of next season.
The experienced duo are expected to remain first choice wingers for the remainder of the season, though Callum Hudson-Odoi will be hoping for increased game time following his fine showing in Chelsea’s FA Cup defeat of Nottingham Forest.
Hudson-Odoi registered two assists against the Championship outfit and Sarri may reward the youngster with Premier League appearances, which could also convince Hudson-Odoi to extend his contract and tie his future down to Chelsea.
Hazard will, of course, remain a guaranteed starter on the left wing, with the Belgium international set to remain at Chelsea beyond the close of the January window. The real question apropos Hazard is whether he will leave for Real Madrid in the summer.
With all these inclusions, Sarri could, come the end of January, field a team resembling the below line-up…
Source : TalkSport