The 2021-22 English Premier League kicks off on August 13 when newly-promoted Brentford hosts Arsenal at the Brentford Community Stadium. It will be the first of 380 action-packed soccer matches taking place in English soccer’s top flight, but it is another team from London who could be the dark horses in this season’s title race.
Chelsea has won the title on six occasions, the last time in the 2016-17 campaign. Premier League betting odds from the best sportsbooks in the world price Chelsea as the joint-second favorites with Liverpool, with reigning champions Manchester City favorites to retain the trophy. However, Chelsea is just one key signing away from being serious title contenders, and nobody would bet against them getting their man.
Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris St. Germain manager, Thomas Tuchel, took over as manager of Chelsea on January 26, following the sacking of club legend Frank Lampard. Tuchel transformed the Blues, making them ridiculously hard to beat. Chelsea went unbeaten in Tuchel’s first 13 games in charge, a club record for a new manager.
Chelsea eventually finished fourth, thus securing a spot in the coming season’s UEFA Champions League. Tuchel’s men would be playing in European soccer’s top competition even if they had not finished in the top four because he guided the club to their second-ever Champions League title, defeating Manchester City in the all-English Champions League final.
Chelsea Always Strengthens Its Squad
Billionaire owner Roman Abromovich is cut-throat when it comes to sacking managers, but there is no denying the man worth $14.6 billion backs his man in the transfer market. Chelsea splashed out £121 million last season — they recouped £87.5 million from sales — are expected to strengthen their already impressive squad before the transfer window slams shut.
The £45 million signing of German international Timo Werner did not exactly go to plan. Werner scored 95 goals in 159 appearances for Red Bull Leipzig of the German Bundesliga but only managed 12 in 52 in his first season with Chelsea. His Premier League record read six goals from 35 games, which is hardly a great return on such a massive investment.
Goalscorers do not suddenly forget how to score, so Werner surely cannot be as poor this season. Werner may not have fired in the goals — he missed many chances — yet he continually created space for himself and his teammates. We expect Werner to at least reach double figures this coming season.
Chelsea allowed Olivier Giroud to leave the club this summer; the Frenchman signed a deal with AC Milan. Giroud’s exit leaves only Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi as the club’s recognized strikers, and Tuchel has shown he does not fancy either man.
The Hunt For a New Number 9
This is why Chelsea are in the hunt for a new number nine, and Erling Haaland could be that man. The 21-year-old Norwegian is already a superstar and could go on to break every goalscoring record.
Since making his professional debut as a 16-year-old, Haaland has fired in 126 goals in 170 games, including 41 in 41 for Borussia Dortmund last season. He enters the final year of his contract next season when a €70 million release clause becomes active. Every top club in Europe will be vying for Haaland’s signature for that sum, which is why Chelsea is acting now.
Reports in the British press suggest Abramovich has issues Tuchel with a blank check and told to get Haaland at any cost. Rumors of a £150 million transfer are rife. Dortmund is in no rush to sell because they sold Jadon Sancho to Manchester United for £72 million, but a £150 million bid would surely tempt them.
Tuchel stated Chelsea would attempt to buy England captain Harry Kane should their quest to bring in Haaland fail. Getting either man would see Chelsea become legitimate title contenders because their team would strike fear into the opposition’s hearts.