Five players who need to step up for Chelsea in the New Year
Following Jose Mourinho’s declaration that he will not make any additions to his squad in January, Coral review five players who need to step up for the second half of the season, if Chelsea, 66/1 to win the quadruple, are to succeed in their goals.
“We have a short squad but we’ve got good players, some younger, some older, but the squad is very, very good,” said Mourinho.
“Our project is to start and finish the season with the same group of players, so there will be nobody to leave and nobody to come in either.”
He may be second to main frontman Diego Costa, but the France forward needs to prove that he is a reliable option to call on if Chelsea need something different. Remy, 27, can even force his manager to rethink his strategy if he takes his chance with vigour and goes on a scoring run.
He’s been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the winter window, though, after Mourinho’s statement that there will be no transfer activity, he needs to take every opportunity with both hands. World Cup winner Schurrle made a name for himself as an impact substitute for Germany last summer, often scoring in Brazil. He could be crucial if the Blues progress to the latter stages of the Champions League.
The Brazil winger tends to get outshone by the likes of compatriot Oscar and Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s supporting attacking three, and needs to add more goals to his arsenal to become more of a polished player. Mourinho will remember fondly back to the days when he had free-scoring wingers, Arjen Robben, Damien Duff and Joe Cole at his disposal, and Willian and Hazard can definitely replicate them.
By January he will have been at Chelsea one year and, although his opportunities have been limited, it makes you wonder how he has been performing in training. If one player was let go, it may well be their 22-year-old Egyptian winger, albeit on loan to another Premier League club, though Inter Milan are said to be in the frame.
His first-team opportunities have been limited with Mourinho preferring to play Cesar Azpilicueta at left back, though the Portuguese boss may be missing a trick. He played with Costa at Atletico Madrid last season and will have been used to picking out the forward’s runs. Hopefully for Blues fans, there is more to come from Luis and could be an asset to them in the Champions League.