2022/23 Premier League Previews | Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel and a new owner's hope for the future
2022/23 Premier League Previews - Chelsea|
The 2022/23 Premier League season is around the corner and for Chelsea, this season could very well define Thomas Tuchel's time at Stamford Bridge. Because having won the Champions League trophy, the next step is to spend millions on another striker to win the title. And they're doing just that.
How well did Chelsea do in the 2021/22 Premier League season?
For a team that won the Champions League during the 2020/21 season, a lot was expected from the Blues, especially after they went out and splurged to sign Romelu Lukaku. But alas, fate and lady luck had other ideas as while Chelsea were a title challenger and even leading the pack until mid-December, a combination of injuries, COVID-19 positive tests and way too much football saw them crumble.
So much so, that the Blues only just about finished in third place with there even a genuine danger of them dropping out of the top four altogether a few weeks before the season ended. But all in all, Chelsea reached the Carabao Cup final and lost only on penalties, won their first FIFA Club World Cup and managed to keep their team on track despite all the off-field issues.
Not only that, they finished the Premier League season with 21 wins, 11 draws and 6 losses which isn’t the worst record around. Plus only two teams outscored them as they scored the third-highest number of goals (76). That was despite Romelu Lukaku’s struggles although the Blues did it with the third best xG (67.2) with the third best xG per 90 (1.77) although all three figures are someway off the top two.
They also had the fourth best xA per 90 (1.23), completed the third most key passes (430), had the fifth best goals per shots on target ratio (0.34) and had the fourth best npxG or non-penalty xG (60.7). Defensively, on the other hand, the Blues were at par with the rest as they had the third-best goals against (33). That trend continues as Chelsea had the third best PSxG (Post-Shot Expected Goals) (32.9) but that was despite the fact that their PSxG+/- (Post-Shot Expected Goals minus goals allowed) was just +0.9.
It means that Edouard Mendy was managed to stop Chelsea from conceding one more goal than they should have. And that was despite the fact that they had the fourth most errors leading to a shot (13) and committed the seventh most fouls (485), and had the fourth-best successful pressure percentage (30.8%). And as if it wasn’t already obvious, the Blues finished with the third best Points Per Match at 1.95.
Improvements they’ve made so far:
The losses of both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger will indubitably hurt Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel but Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival will most definitely help. The former Napoli defender was once considered to be amongst the best in the world but now at 31, there is a question about whether the Senegalese can do it in a new league. Not only that, the fact that Jules Kounde has signed for Barcelona might also hurt the Blues although reports do indicate that they are targeting Benjamin Pavard and Marc Cucurella.
Whether they sign the Frenchman or not, Chelsea definitely need another first-team defender especially if they’ve got high hopes for the season although they could do with more goals too. Romelu Lukaku’s departure may not hurt them as much as many expect especially with the London side having signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. The Englishman is a proven goal-scorer and has thrived in the Premier League, and could fit Thomas Tuchel’s system perfectly.
But the real question is how Tuchel brings in Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja into the squad, especially given how well the two men did out on loan last season. Add that to the fact that Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi could potentially leave and Chelsea could very well be in the market for another attacking option although the question does lie in who could they bring in.
How well could Chelsea do in the 2022/23 Premier League season?
Thomas Tuchel doesn’t have the greatest squad in the world right now but if Chelsea do somehow manage to add another few pieces to this team, then their floor would be the top four place. Their ceiling could very well be a third-place spot although that depends on how both Liverpool and Manchester City’s seasons go. Should everything click in place and stay there for most of the season, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Chelsea challenge for more especially in Europe.
But if the Blues don’t add a few more pieces then things could get worse with a genuine possibility of them dropping out of the top four because while losing Andreas Christensen wasn't the worst thing in the world, the loss of Antonio Rudiger will feel like the worst thing in the world. Kalidou Koulibaly could definitely bridge that gap but even then, Thiago Silva and co need reinforcements especially with Trevor Chalobah yet to prove himself.