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How Chelsea could line-up with Paul Pogba transfer as Tuchel makes Kante and Tchouameni decisions

Chelsea have some big decisions to make in the midfield area this summer.

Who is to make way for the potential arrivals of Aurelien Tchouameni or Declan Rice who are the two long-term targets of the European and World Champions who are looking to add more quality to challenge for the Premier League title next season?

With Saul Niguez a certainty to return home to Spain in the summer coupled with uncertain futures for Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in SW6 this summer amid Juventus and PSG links respectively, the midfield is certainly an area to keep an eye on once this 2021/22 season comes to an end.

 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another player who could seek an exit from west London permanently this summer if his crossroads-like situation isn’t to turn around anytime soon.

Signing Rice and Tchouameni seems unrealistic with a double swoop of this magnitude surpassing the £180million mark and with other areas in need of strengthening including at the back, Marina Granovskaia may have to be smart in targeting new acquisitions for Thomas Tuchel.

This is where Paul Pogba comes into the equation.

Speculation over the World Cup winner’s future at Old Trafford is at fever pitch as he heads into the final months of his contract. Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola have so far turned down United’s offers of a new contract, with the player keeping his options open amid long-standing interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

A ‘wow’ move that has been backed by former Tottenham striker Darren Bent who has given the seal of approval to Granovskaia to conduct such an astute piece of business.

Bent said: “When Pogba plays alongside Kante he looks like a completely different player. If they [Chelsea] were to sign him… Wow!”

With all factors taken into consideration, football.london takes a look at five potential ways Thomas Tuchel could line up his midfield four with Pogba at the heart of things for the serial winners.

Option 1 – the Kante Pogba reunion

The pair have a great relationship that has flourished over the years on the international stage for Les Bleus.

Winning a World Cup together in Russia showcased to the world that both complemented each others game well enough to a point where no midfield pair including the strong axis of Marcelo Brozovic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic could get the better of the duo.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to see Bent fascinate over this potential powerhouse reuniting on the club stage but Kante would have to stay fit if this was to work out in the long run.

His ever-growing injury portfolio has led some to believe that the Blues may well call it a day soon for the twice Premier League winning midfielder.

Potential midfield four in the 3-4-3 next season: Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Reece James.

Option 2 – the modern Kante and Pogba partnership

As already mentioned, Kante’s recent injury woes has allowed fresh faces to be given a chance under Didier Deschamps and Blues target Aurelien Tchouameni has certainly taken advantage of this.

The £80million Monaco man played a big part alongside the current Man United man in winning his nation their first ever Nations League earlier this season.

“Very very good”, Pogba told Ouest-France back in September 2021. “He’s not a boy, he’s a man.

“It was a pleasure to play next to him. He brings a lot of energy. A lot of energy, extraordinary technical and physical quality.

“I hope to play plenty of games together and to always be on his side.”

Potential midfield four in the 3-4-3 next season: Ben Chilwell, Aurelien Tchouameni, Paul Pogba, Reece James.

Option 3 – Mateo Kovacic inclusion

The Croatian has been a revelation for the Blues since completing his permanent move from Real Madrid at a difficult time for the club in the midst of the transfer ban situation.

Criticism of Kovacic have been that his attacking output has never really been there but this season he has worked on just this and his wonder striker in the 2-2 Liverpool draw was an example of just this.

Furthermore, a midfield axis of Kovacic and Pogba could be something that gets the Chelsea fanbase licking their lips at just how good this pairing could turn out to be.

Both have tenacity in abundance and with Kovacic better defensively than Pogba and with United’s current 6 more able in the attacking sense, the pair compliment each other well.

Potential midfield four in the 3-4-3 next season: Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic, Paul Pogba, Reece James.

Option 4 – Expensive Premier League pairing

Although Pogba will not cost the west London outfit a transfer fee outright, the package including wages and signing on fees coupled with agent demands means that it will certainly be an expensive operation for the Blues to pull off regardless of the situation at hand with it being a ‘free signing.’

Combine this with the mammoth £100million plus that Chelsea may have to pay if they are to acquire long-term target Rice and if both hypothetical situations were to be pulled off the by the current third placed Premier League side then they would certainly be in a good position to close the gap on Liverpool and Man City come the start of 2022/23.

Option 5 – Change in formation

It is only a rumour at this moment but a change of formation could be in store for Tuchel and co who would shake things up with another spell of pre-season under their belts.

The 3-4-3 has of course provided some great moments for the Blues over the years in relation to winning silverware but one downside of it is the attacking element of the game that usually is affected.

Having more creativity and adventure from a midfield three instead of two could help relieve the burden of goal scoring on Romelu Lukaku and co who just haven’t fired enough this season when you make comparisons with Liverpool’s and Man City’s front three.

Therefore, a change to a more traditional 4-3-3 type of formation could help repair an inconsistent Chelsea attack who suffer with lack of quality when provided chances but also the lack of quality service.

Here are a potential list of midfield trios next season that could help solve this issue from deep:

1. Mateo Kovacic, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante

2. Jorginho, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante.

3. Paul Pogba, Aurelien Tchouameni, N’Golo Kante.

4. Paul Pogba, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic.

5. Paul Pogba, Declan Rice, Mateo Kovacic.

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