A star gone but what’s next?
Pedro was signed from Barcelona in the 15/16 season to bring some freshness to the wingers but that season did not go his way. The 16/17 season was good form and then after an underwhelming 17/18 season Pedro had a decent season last year under Sarri. In total Pedro made 52 appearances providing 13 goals and 5 assists, 8 and 2 of those goals and assists came in the Premier League. Pedro is a good player who is 31 now and really approaching the latter stages of his career. Pedro has won it all for club and country so really he should play a back up figure for next season someone who is plays more cup games. Pedro is a great sub to bring on who can impact a game with his quick pace and directness while also possessing a good left foot. Pedro though should be backup to our next player.
Pulisic was bought in January from Dortmund and loaned back to Dortmund for the last 6 months. Pulisic joined Dortmund in the 14/15 season at the age of 16 and then worked himself into Dortmund’s first team by first playing in the academy. Pulisic made 30 appearances providing 4 goals and 4 assists. Pulisic did only start 9 of his 20 Bundesliga games last season as he was injured and he lost his place to Sancho. Pulisic worked hard though and he worked his way back into the team alongside Sancho. Pulisic also played a crucial role in this summers Gold Cup for the United States as he provided 2 goals and 3 assist in the tournament and won the young player of the tournament award. Pulisic is direct he has the ability to cross the ball he is a good dribbler can take free kicks and provides assists all at the age of 20 with plenty of room to improve. Pulisic beats Pedro in offensive stats having played less games and while he likes to play on the left he can play on the right. Currently on an extended leave because of the tournament Pulisic should be back for when Chelsea visit Japan next week. Whether on the right or left Pulisic should start.
Willian joined Chelsea in the 13/14 season from Anzhi and after 6 seasons I can say that while I liked him for his work of the ball and dedication recent seasons have soured my taste. I don’t like Willian and especially after the way he behaved with Conte I don’t like him more but let’s see some stats to see what Willian brings to the team. For someone who joined around the same time as Hazard and was supposed to be Hazard’s version on the right Willian has not even come close. In the 14/15 season Willian got 2 goals and 3 assists in 36 league appearances. In 15/16 Willian got 5 goals and 9 assists in 35 league appearances this was one of Willian’s best seasons in which Chelsea finished 10th because everyone else was not at all great. In 16/17 Willian got 8 goals and 2 assists in 34 league appearances a decent return in a title winning campaign. In 17/18 Willian got 6 goals and 8 assists in 36 league appearances his best return for the club but for some reason he disliked Conte. Last season Willian made 32 league appearances getting 3 goals and 7 assists. The fact remains that Willian never passed the 10 goal mark or got more than 9 assists when it came to the league. Compare that to Hazard who got 9/14, 14/9, 14/10, 4/4, 16/5, 12/4, and 16/15 and you can see why I feel that Willian’s ego is unfounded. At 30 Willian is done at Chelsea if it was not for the transfer ban he probably would have been sold and if not then the next player on this list has way more to offer than Willian can.
CHO broke out on the scene in 17/18 where he made 33 appearances in all comps for the academy getting 19 goals and 6 assists. Last season CHO made 29 appearances for Chelsea mostly starting in the latter half of the season getting 6 goals and 7 assists. CHO is the next big thing from the academy and if it were not for him suffering an ankle injury then he would have played many more games. CHO like Pulisic is direct can pick a cross is great at beating a man and can finish and really Chelsea should be excited at the potential of having CHO and Pulisic on the wings. It is a testament to him that when he was on the pitch as opposed to Willian or Pedro as a fan you could feel something could happen. It is time for CHO to start for Chelsea once he is done recovering from his injury which should be around late August hopefully sooner. Pulisic and him interchanging on the flanks should be exquisite to watch.
Giroud joined Chelsea in January of 2018 from Arsenal, instantly he became a player liked by the fans because of his dedication and some very important goals in the latter stages of the 17/18 season. Last year Giroud was preferred by Sarri to play in the Europa League where he got 11 goals and 5 assists in 14 appearances including a goal and an assist in the final against Arsenal. Giroud does not have massive competition when it comes to his position although he isn’t that much better than the rest and the others are younger and so while Giroud could start under Lampard it will really depend on his form more than anything else. Giroud can expect a lot of service from the likes of Pulisic and CHO.
Tammy is our 2nd candidate for the striker position coming from the youth academy. Tammy had a breakthrough season for the academy in 15/16 where he made 34 appearances getting 20 goals and 6 assists. This good form got him a loan to Bristol City in the Championship for the 16/17 season where he made 48 appearances getting 26 goals and 4 assists. Chelsea decided that next up was a Premier League loan and Abraham joined Swansea but he barely played in what was a relegation and defensive team he still made 39 appearances scoring 8 goals and assisting 5. Sarri decided that his strikers would be Morata and Giroud and so Tammy was loaned back to the Championship for the 18/19 season at Aston Villa. In an attacking team Tammy made 42 appearances getting 26 goals and 3 assists. Tammy was crucial in Villa earning promotion to the 19/20 season of the Premier League and they beat Lampard’s Derby in the play off final to achieve it. For Abraham he might feel that now there is a manager who can actually give him a chance and with Chelsea under a ban this is a perfect season for all of Chelsea’s rejected strikers to stake their claim. Tammy is strong in the air has an eye for a finish and can dribble being only 21 there is plenty of room for improvement. Tammy can also learn a lot from the likes of Giroud and so this should be an interesting season for him. Tammy has more than proven himself in the Championship can he prove himself in the Premier League? Tammy will first need to beat out the last candidate for the striker position.
Michy was bought in the summer of 2016 from Marseille as the backup to Diego Costa. Michy was coming off a good 15/16 season where he made 50 appearances for Marseille getting 23 goals and 10 assists. Displacing Costa was never going to be easy but Michy still managed to get 9 goals and 3 assists in 28 appearances for Chelsea mostly as a sub, not to forget getting the title winning goal. In 17/18 Chelsea did not put faith in Michy and Morata was brought in, Michy made 24 appearances for Chelsea mostly starting cup games getting 10 goals 1 assist. Michy decided enough was enough and left on loan to Dortmund for 6 months where he linked up with Pulisic. Michy enjoyed a resurgence in Germany making 14 appearances getting 9 goals. Sarri decided he could do without Michy and he left on loan to Valencia for the first six months of last season which turned out to not be great. Michy made 23 appearances for Valencia getting 3 goals as he failed to adjust and beat Rodrigo. Michy returned to England in January and was loaned to Crystal Palace where he made 13 appearances getting 6 goals. Michy is probably the most lethal striker Chelsea have when it comes to starts but like Abraham no manager gave him regularity and when he did get some he played well for example Marseille and Dortmund. As far as I am concerned its a straight shootout between the three strikers but it is between Tammy and Michy where the most starts will come. For me Michy get’s the nod for now ahead of Tammy but Lampard will base his decision off of pre-season.