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Todd Boehly next Chelsea signing after Koulibaly and clear pre-season lesson for Thomas Tuchel

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Todd Boehly next Chelsea signing after Koulibaly and clear pre-season lesson for Thomas Tuchel

The Shed Inbox is a new Chelsea series where we take questions from fans off Twitter to respond to and debate. We hope to be doing this regularly in the new seasons, so get onto Twitter and drop me a follow @SonOfChelsea or the @Chelsea_FL page to submit your question for future pieces.

We are now under a week away from Chelsea’s 2022/23 campaign officially kicking off on Merseyside against Frank Lampard’s Everton.

There are many unanswered questions over how Chelsea will fare in the first year of the Todd Boehly and Clearlake era. How will Thomas Tuchel cope with more influence? Can Raheem Sterling soothe the Blues long-standing attacking issues? Will the World Cup end the winter curse

Making firm predictions feels even riskier than usual given the sheer amount that could still happen to this squad before deadline day, but we have got some good questions on a variety of topics to dig into today on Boehly, Tuchel, pre-season, players and more so let’s get into it!

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@23Pankovski: Excluding the glaring defensive issues, which other area should we focus on in the market?

For far too long, the centre of Chelsea’s midfield has been left unresolved or significantly upgraded, leading to it consistently becoming a problematic area for a number of recent coaches.

A new dominant addition that adds a significantly more physical profile is what is needed, and it isn’t too hard to list some major names that could offer improvement. However, with the dream target unlikely this window, wingback cover probably is next on the list, given both Ian Maatsen and Dujon Sterling are likely going on loan.

Should they end up staying, neither Cesar Azpilicueta nor Marcos Alonso excites me in offering adequate cover for Ben Chilwell or Reece James. Finding players that do is essential.

@RJ_Goodthings: Apart from the recurring issues observed during pre-season, what lessons do you think Tuchel learnt during this time?

Don’t give minutes to players who clearly have no tangible future at the club. It insults everyone’s intelligence and wastes valuable time to others who could have offered something fresh to areas that need it.

Whether this idea has actually been taken on board is hard to know, but the squad against Udinese on Friday offered some encouragement.

@hubax3: Do you see any hope for Pulisic at Chelsea?

It is a long season, and should he remain fit, Christian Pulisic has shown that he has sporadic moments of importance. However, his role as a starring player under Tuchel looks slim, and his performances in pre-season offered little encouragement he is going above and beyond to break that perception.

He, like Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, could still leave this summer, making their futures hard to analyse. But his demeanour and output need to improve when he does get opportunities, especially now he has serious competition in Raheem Sterling.

@manuraghavan_: Where do you think Chelsea will finish this season (realistically) + any silverware on the horizon this season?

Outside of Chelsea, there is already an expectation, predictably from Manchester United and Arsenal fans, that the Blues have little hope of retaining Champions League football. But given the right additions before deadline day, I think the squad is more than capable of solidifying a spot in the top four. I’d like to think top three.

The last eight is mandatory in the Champions League, and then you hope for a favourable draw. The domestic cups offer the best hope and given the amount of heartbreak in both last season. I’m gonna lean towards a League Cup win.

@VarelAnderson1: Thoughts on Gabriel Slonina?

There are shades of Thibaut Courtois in this deal. Buy a young prospect, allow him to gain minutes elsewhere and hope he develops quickly enough into a top keeper to bring back and replace your ageing first-choice.

Whether Slonina ever turns into that is impossible to know at this point, but this transfer feels like a typical low-risk, high-reward type transaction. Chelsea are buying him for around £10m with hopes he either turns out to be good enough to use or valuable enough to sell on for a profit.

This deal is one that will be judged properly in years to come. One hopes Chelsea have bagged a gem ahead of some stiff competition across Europe.

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