Chelsea's dream 20-man squad vs Man City with Jonathan David transfer and Raheem Sterling call

Jonathan David has been linked with a move to Chelsea this summer after excelling for Lille in France
-Credit: (Image: Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Enzo Maresca could not have asked for a tougher start to the Premier League season as Chelsea head coach. The Blues open the 2024/25 campaign with a showdown against reigning champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, August 18.

The game will also see Maresca go head-to-head with Pep Guardiola, who he worked with during his time on the Spaniard's coaching staff at the Etihad Stadium. Now on the training pitch with his Chelsea team after the west London club commenced their pre-season preparations at Cobham on Monday, the new boss has plenty to implement before the Blues host City in their league opener.

Prior to the showdown which is now just over a month away, Maresca will be hopeful of adding a few more players to his squad as Chelsea look to challenge on all fronts from August onwards. The club have already made moves in the transfer market this summer having added Tosin Adarabioyo, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Omari Kellyman and Marc Guiu to the first-team squad.

So what exactly could Maresca's dream 20-man Chelsea matchday squad look like on the opening weekend of the Premier League season when they face off against Man City? takes a look below.

It's not exactly clear yet what will happen in goal as Maresca will want a shot-stopper who is excellent with the ball at his feet. If the Blues are to launch a move for a new goalkeeper, Diogo Costa of Porto would be quite the statement signing in goal.

In defence, it is an easy decision at right-back for Maresca as Reece James is suspended, meaning Malo Gusto, who was outstanding in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, starts. Marc Cucurella was in fine form for Chelsea in the final weeks of last season and he has continued to wow for Spain at Euro 2024, which in turn could potentially mean he gets the nod over Ben Chilwell at left-back.

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At centre-back, Maresca looks set to have Wesley Fofana available for selection once again after an injury nightmare since moving from Leicester City. As his last Chelsea game came back in May 2023, the Frenchman will be hopeful of a really strong pre-season campaign to put himself in a position to start next to Levi Colwill against the champions.

In midfield, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo will continue their partnership on the opening day against Man City. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall will likely join them in the middle after following Maresca to Stamford Bridge from Leicester.

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The summer signing was a major player for the Foxes last season and the hope will be that he can provide the goals and assists that he contributed on a regular basis under the Italian. Cole Palmer is a certain starter in the Chelsea XI, with Christopher Nkunku potentially now another key figure in attack after a nightmare debut campaign through injury.

The hope will be that the Blues can bring in a new striker in time for the Man City game as they dearly missed a prolific frontman last term. Jonathan David has been linked with a move to SW6 and understands the Blues have held talks with the Canada international's representatives already this summer.

Said to be available for around £20million, the frontman could prove to be a good acquisition for Chelsea for a relatively modest fee in today's market as he has proved time and time again he knows where the net is. Nicolas Jackson would then provide cover up front for Chelsea off the bench.

In regards to the rest of the substitutes, Robert Sanchez may have to settle for a place on the bench if a new goalkeeper is to arrive. Axel Disasi and Adarabioyo would then be further options at centre-back and the same goes for Chilwell at left-back.

Conor Gallagher and Romeo Lavia would be options in midfield as Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk provide cover out wide. Due to the amount of attacking options available to Maresca at present, Raheem Sterling could potentially drop out of the squad against his former club.

Dream 20-man Chelsea squad vs Man City

Chelsea XI: Costa; Gusto, Fofana, Colwill, Cucurella; Enzo, Caicedo; Palmer, Dewsbury-Hall, Nkunku; David. Subs: Sanchez, Disasi, Adarabioyo, Chilwell, Gallagher, Lavia, Madueke, Mudryk, Jackson.