Chelsea is poised for a big summer of incoming transfers. The Blues have been linked with a plethora of Europe’s best players as Thomas Tuchel looks to rebuild the squad to his liking following his first full season in charge. The German is set to be the club’s man going forward after the new leadership conveyed their content with the job he’s done up to this point. Thus, Todd Boehly is set to back him with a huge transfer sum this summer so that Chelsea can compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title in the coming seasons.
Jules Kounde has been rumored to be the first name through the door after the government sanctions were lifted. However, it now seems as if there may be one addition to become official before Kounde’s transfer gets over the line. Ironically enough, it may be one of the defender’s international teammates. The Blues are now incredibly confident that Ousmane Dembele will sign for the west Londoners from Barcelona following Paris Saint-Germain pulling out of the race.
CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs—who was one of the most reliable sources for news regarding Chelsea’s recent takeover—was the first notable journalist to confirm the Dembele rumors on Sunday morning. Chelsea has made contact with Dembele’s representatives regarding a free transfer this summer. Now, with PSG moving on from Sporting Director Leonardo and bringing in Luis Campos, the Blues have the upper hand as they push for the former Dortmund wunderkind. This comes just six months after the London side displayed an interest in bringing in Dembele during the winter transfer window to ensure it wouldn’t have to compete with other European suitors.
Barcelona has tried desperately to keep Dembele after his career revival under new manager Xavi, but the Frenchman seems set on a move away from Camp Nou. Chelsea is now the leader in the race for numerous reasons.
First, Dembele would undoubtedly get more playing time at Stamford Bridge than with PSG. The French giants already have Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar in their ranks, so it’s doubtful Dembele would get many starts next season. Further, the Blues have a secret weapon in Tuchel, who has a great relationship with the 25-year-old from their time together with Dortmund. Lastly, Chelsea has a longstanding interest in the player, which can be viewed as a huge positive.
The Blues can not only offer Dembele significant minutes, but they can also guarantee that he will be an important part of their starting XI. In many ways, Dembele is exactly the type of player they need out on the wings. He’s a creative force who knows how to pick out teammates inside the opponents’ 18-yard box. Dembele finished in the top three for big chances created in La Liga last season, despite playing just over half of the matches. He also topped the Spanish top flight’s assist chart with 13 in those 21 games.
Dembele is the ideal creative maestro to add to Tuchel’s attack, but he does come with some concerns. In a year where the Blues struggled to keep their complete starting XI on the pitch at the same time, adding someone with such an extensive injury history has its risks. Although, given the circumstances surrounding a free transfer for such a talented player, the reward far outweighs any possible risks. This is a move that could pay dividends for Chelsea years down the road.