Chelsea sack Tuchel: New manager's daunting to-do list

·3-min read

Chelsea have made the bold decision to axe Thomas Tuchel just a week after the transfer window brought an end to the Blues' lavish spending spree.

Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all among the arrivals in a raft of additions for the Blues, with new owner Todd Boehly putting out a statement of intent.

The club's early season form has patchy, though, with Chelsea losing to Leeds United and Southampton in the Premier League as well as a shock defeat in their Champions League group-stage opener to Dinamo Zagreb.

The hunt for Tuchel's successor has begun but whoever takes the job will have a challenge finding stable footing, as Stats Perform identifies the big issues that need resolving.

Integrating new players

New signings do not always immediately settle into new surroundings, which was evident in Tuesday's defeat in Croatia as Fofana and Koulibaly were caught out for the only goal of the game, one that ultimately contributed to Tuchel losing his job.

Aubameyang – donning a protective mask due to a fractured jaw – also looked off the pace on his debut, though he saw a goal chalked off, and will have questions after the dismissal of the German, whom he was excited to work with again following their stint together at Borussia Dortmund.

Sterling, at least, seems to have adjusted quickly to life in west London, scoring three and assisting one in the opening six matches, but it's still early days for the former Manchester City forward.

Bringing the new additions up to speed and singing from the same hymn sheet will be a big priority for Tuchel's successor.

Sterling stats
Sterling stats

Choosing the best XI

Chelsea's struggles have come alongside an untimely loss in form for goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who previously had his position in the side as a near certainty, but a new boss may have different ideas – particularly after some fine saves from Kepa Arrizabalaga in the defeat in Zagreb.

In defence, there's also decisions to be made with Fofana, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Ben Chilwell, Cesar Azpilicueta, Reece James and Thiago Silva all vying for a starting berth and looking to secure regular action ahead of their respective World Cup campaigns.

There is remains uncertainty in midfield, with the likes of N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic all having question marks over their long-term futures. Youngsters Conor Gallagher, Carney Chukwuemeka and Cesare Casadei also need bedding into the side, the latter representing new recruits at Stamford Bridge.

Figuring out a settled XI is of vital importance for the new incumbent.

Chelsea clean sheet
Chelsea clean sheet

Solve the striker situation

One of the most problematic positions to fix, though, is the striker position.

The Blues' long-term striker issues have claimed numerous casualties, most recently Romelu Lukaku, while Timo Werner was also sold back to RB Leipzig.

The signing of 33-year-old Aubameyang on deadline day was not a permanent fix and, given the issues Mikel Arteta encountered at Arsenal managing the striker, issues may arise.

Neither Kai Havertz and Sterling are natural centre-forwards, while Armando Broja is only 20 and it would be a bold decision to throw the Albanian into the deep end as the leading striker.

Aubameyang is the obvious solution for the new boss but a long-term plan needs to be established.