Olise and Alvarez sign, Gallagher transfer, Maatsen call - Enzo Maresca dream 25-man Chelsea squad

Crystal Palace attacker Michael Olise
-Credit: (Image: Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

Enzo Maresca will inherit a talented Chelsea squad. His job will be to mould it into a winning team on the pitch. It is much easier said than done, but he will have ample tools at his disposal.

It is something Mauricio Pochettino struggled with in his first six months before finding a formula that eventually started to click. His exit was as much down to the alchemy in the group that he took over and a failure from above to accept possible shortcomings as it was how he actually worked with them.

Maresca, Chelsea hope, will be able to balance the different challenges of being a head coach at Stamford Bridge to deliver results with a still youthful core. And despite the wholesale changes to the squad and club over the past two years, there is still the promise of yet more to come.

First-team players could be sold this summer; some of the loanees may return, and there are going to be attempts to strengthen as well. It leaves plenty for the new boss to address.

What is clear is that by the time the Premier League season kicks off, Maresca must whittle down his options into a 25-man squad to compete until further changes can be made during the January transfer window. Some of the rules for the squad are that at least eight be qualified as homegrown (someone who has 'featured for an FA-affiliated club for at least three years before turning 21'), while a maximum of 17 can be non-homegrown.

Players that are Under-21 (born on or after January 1, 2003) will also not count towards the tally of 25. Given the youthful nature of the Chelsea squad, it could actually leave them short of the full 25.

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Here, compiles a full squad for Chelsea. Players with an asterisk next to their name are Under-21s and do not have to be named in the main squad.

Goalkeepers: Petrovic, Bulka, Bettinelli

Maresca is after a ball-playing goalkeeper. With the likely arrival of another No.1 it could be that one of Robert Sanchez or Djordge Petrovic departs. Given that he became first-choice last year, Petrovic keeps his place here.

Coming in, there have been a number of names linked. Giorgi Mamardashvili of Valencia is one that understands has been looked at, while links with Las Palmas gloveman Alvaro Valles have also emerged. Former Blues youth prospect Marcin Bulka has also been mooted.

The latter is certainly an interesting proposition, having been deemed a top prospect while at the club. He would not necessarily completely wipe out Petrovic's minutes, but there is still expected to be a change in the goalkeeping department again.

Marcus Bettinelli remains the third-choice, while there are a plethora of Cobham hopefuls for loan or outside chances if they open up. Kepa Arrizabalaga does not have a place and will almost certainly depart permanently one year before his contract ends.

Homegrown: Bettinelli, Bulka

Defenders: Chalobah, Gusto*, Badiashile, Fofana, Disasi, Cucurella, Adarabioyo, Chilwell, James, Maatsen, Colwill*

Chelsea's defence is one of the weaker parts of the squad. A fit Levi Colwill next season will be a massive boost, and it opens up opportunities for others that he is still an Under-21 player. Tosin Adarabioyo has already replaced Thiago Silva, while left-back is a problem area.

Ben Chilwell's injury issues mean that there is a decision to be made over his future. Marc Cucurella has also been close to leaving but ended last term in good form. Ian Maatsen is the most exciting name there, but he could be on his way out. In an ideal world, he plays, though.

Maatsen suits the Maresca system of having an inverted full-back and would be a real asset, so he's been included here. Trevoh Chalobah is also one of the best and most proven names on this list, so despite Chelsea being open to him leaving, he has been added to the squad.

Five centre-backs for just two roles is a lot, though, and it's likely that at least one is sold. Meanwhile, Chelsea are looking at alternatives in defence at left back, with Alphonso Davies an outside name.

Homegrown: Chalobah, Adarabioyo, Chiwell, James, Colwill, Maatsen

Midfielders: Fernandez, Caicedo, Gallagher, Santos*, Lavia*, Ugochukwu*, Chukwuemeka*, Casadei*

Now, there are currently only three players at Chelsea that actually qualify as being non-Under-21s. Andrey Santos, Romeo Lavia, Carney Chukwuemeka, and Cesare Casadei may all have roles to play, but none need to be included in the 25-man squad and can be used freely.

That being said, there will need to be some movement here. Casadei and Ugochukwu on loan make sense while building around the core of Conor Gallagher, Enzo Fernandez, and Moises Caicedo.

Like with Chalobah and Maatsen, Gallagher could leave this summer. That would leave a hole to be filled. Although not directly linked, Yousouff Fofana at Monaco is someone who could be on the move and offers a physical presence plus versatility that could be of interest to Chelsea. The best signing that can be made here is tying down Gallagher, though.

Homegrown: Gallagher, Lavia, Chukwuemeka

Attackers: Mudryk, Sterling, Jackson, Olise, Madueke, Nkunku, Palmer, Alvarez

There will be no Benjamin Sesko for Chelsea this summer, so who else will share the load with Nicolas Jackson? The hope is that Christopher Nkunku will be able to make more of an impact in his second season at the club, but there is pressure on these two currently, with Armando Broja increasingly likely to exit.

Other names that have been touted as possible arrivals to replace the Albanian are Jhon Duran and, more recently, Julian Alvarez of Manchester City. He would be quite the coup for Chelsea, even if he does overlap in skillset with Nicolas Jackson.

On the wings, and despite middling (at best) performances for most of last year from Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, they are expected to stay, as is Raheem Sterling, even though talk of a sale for him is loud. understands he wants to stay at the club.

Michael Olise is the big name that could come in. He is admired by the club and is set to be one of the transfer stars to watch over the summer. Deivid Washington could head out on loan, while Romelu Lukaku is surely going to be sold.

Homegrown: Sterling, Olise, Madueke, Palmer

Taking into account those who are Under-21 but likely to play a large part in the season, this is the final squad selected by, with those able to be used outside of the 25 named. So, although there are only 22 names listed on the list, the six under-21 players listed below can also be used, and several of those listed may well be sold regardless.

Possible Chelsea 25-man Premier League squad: Petrovic, Bulka, Bettelinelli, James, Fofana, Chalobah, Badiashile, Disasi, Cucurella, Adarabioyo, Chilwell, Maatsen, Fernandez, Caicedo, Gallagher, Mudryk, Sterling, Jackson, Olise, Madueke, Nkunku, Palmer, Alvarez

Under-21: Colwill, Santos, Lavia, Ugochukwu, Casadei, Chukwuemeka, Gusto