A defeat at the hands of Everton yesterday did nothing but emphasize how far Chelsea are from catching up with Manchester City and Liverpool.
The aforementioned clubs have been dominant in recent years, with both Guardiola and Klopp being allowed time to build their own squad to compete for the Premier League title.
It is one key feature which has allowed the managers to impose their unique playing styles in the league while remaining competitive.
If Chelsea are to ever come close to the two, then there is no doubt that an ‘open heart surgery’ must be performed on the current squad and make it suitable for Thomas Tuchel to compete.
In here we assess which of the current Chelsea players should stay or go for the German’s rebuild.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – GO
Arriving for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper just to be second-choice would not have been the plan for either the player or the club. It would do best for everyone if he left this summer.
Antonio Rudiger – STAY
While Chelsea would definitely rather keep the defender, the choice appears to have already been made as his contract runs down. Real Madrid have renewed hope trying to sign the German and his departure is now out of the hands at Stamford Bridge.
Marcos Alonso – GO
Alonso has been a fine servant over the years at Chelsea and has stepped in after Ben Chilwell’s season-ending injury earlier this campaign. However, the simple fact is that was the detrimental moment of their season with the Spaniard failing to step up and it should be time to go.
Andreas Christensen – GO
Again, much like Rudiger, this decision has been taken out of Chelsea’s hands and a deal has reportedly already been agreed with Barcelona. Christensen has been with the club for 10 years after coming up through the academy and looks set to embark on a new journey.
Jorginho – STAY
It has been a difficult season for the Italian, who won the Euros last year with his country but has had to fight for his spot in the first-team this term. Nevertheless, Jorginho is a key player with plenty of influence in the dressing room but a new contract will have to be sorted pronto with his current deal expiring next year.
Thiago Silva – STAY
The Brazilian’s absence against Arsenal was heavily felt and, despite being 37, he remains one of the most integral parts of Chelsea’s starting XI. With Rudiger and Christensen leaving, Chelsea cannot afford anymore departures at the back and Silva must stay.
N’Golo Kante – STAY
Again, much like Jorginho, Kante’s form has nosedived this year while injuries have not been kind to the player. If a ridiculous bid comes in – potentially from Paris Saint-Germain – then the Frenchman could go but, otherwise, Chelsea must keep hold of the midfielder.
Mateo Kovacic – STAY
By far one of the most important players at Chelsea, without his line-breaking runs and passes there simply is no midfield at the club. Kovacic has gone from strength to strength since his arrival from Real Madrid and letting him go simply is not an option.
Romelu Lukaku – GO
Last summer, Chelsea broke their club-record fee to sign Lukaku for a second time with the intention of him leading them to glory via a non-stop leakage of goals. That has not happened, at all, with just five goals in the Premier League and if Chelsea are offered an escape route, they should take it – the Belgian does to suit Tuchel’s play whatsoever.
Christian Pulisic – STAY
Pulisic has failed to make much of an impression this season after dropping to become a bit-part player and has just four Premier League goals this season. Injuries have not been kind for the 23-year-old but the likely American owners at the club this summer could make him a key part of the squad, so it would seem unimaginable to get rid of the United States poster boy.
Timo Werner – GO
Prior to this spell of fine form, every Chelsea fan would have begged the German to leave in the summer. Four goals and two assists in his last four games might have changed that opinion for some but that does not hide the fact that it has been a tough season, Bayern Munich have been linked as they look for potential Robert Lewandowski replacements.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – GO
There is no denying that Loftus-Cheek has talent but there just does not appear to be a spot in the squad for the Englishman. He does not have the tactical nous to play central midfield or has the industry to be deployed further forward and Crystal Palace are interested in a move – it might be time to go.
Marcus Bettinelli – STAY
There is no harm in a third-choice goalkeeper hanging around at the club with their duties often restricted to early cup games and major emergencies. Bettinelli is also a popular member of the squad despite not making a single Premier League appearance.
Trevoh Chalobah – STAY
This has been a breakout campaign for Chalobah at Chelsea and a surprise success story at Stamford Bridge after hardly pulling up trees at Lorient and Huddersfield. Nevertheless, Tuchel has got the best out of the defender while he looks set for more minutes next year with several departures at the back planned.
Edouard Mendy – STAY
Currently not in the best vein of form but there is no denying the impact that Mendy has had at Chelsea, helping them become Champions League winners in his first season.
Saul – GO
Have there been more disappointing signings than this one? Saul has been an utter failure since arriving from Atletico Madrid on loan. There is an option to make the loan permanent for a fee of £30million – well, that just is not going to happen.
Ross Barkley – GO
There are football conspiracies floating around that state that Barkley is just a figment of our imaginations but he remains very much at Chelsea, despite not being seen in months. It is time for Barkley to rip up his own contract and go play football somewhere, his career is very much close to being a waste right now.
Mason Mount – STAY
Quickly becoming Chelsea’s main man after another season consistently full of goal contributions, there simply is no better place for Mount than his boyhood club. Still just 23, the attacking midfielder has all the credentials to go and become a club legend.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – GO
Hudson-Odoi had the chance to leave for Borussia Dortmund last year on loan and, looking back, that might have been the best option after another year failing to impress. There is no denying that there is untapped potential but, after just one Premier League goal, the 21-year-old needs to start shining soon.
Ben Chilwell – STAY
There were signs that Chilwell was fast becoming an outstanding player under Tuchel where Chelsea looked formidable with him playing wing-back. A season-ending injury came at the worst time, though, and all efforts should be made to bring him back and hope for no long-standing damage.
Hakim Ziyech – STAY
Tuchel has rotated his forward line several times and only at points has it benefitted Ziyech but there is no one in that squad that can pass like he can. His left foot oozes class and, while he will be 30 next year, his versatility might be an asset for Tuchel.
Kenedy – GO
So far on the peripherals at Chelsea that he is close to falling off a cliff, Kenedy can barely count himself as a player of the club anymore despite returning in January. The Brazilian might be best off getting out and just trying play some football.
Reece James – STAY
An absolute key player at Chelsea, James is a potential next captain at Stamford Bridge where he continues to develop into a truly special player. Real Madrid have been interested in the Englishman but the Blues must do everything to keep hold of the 22-year-old.
Cesar Azpilicueta – GO
There is no denying that Azpilicueta has been a brilliant servant at Chelsea but this summer would mark the best time to call it a day there. The defender will go down as a legend but a return to Spain is on the cards.
Kai Havertz – STAY
It took signing Lukaku for nearly £100m to discover that Chelsea’s best forward is actually Havertz, who has quickly become the club’s big-game player. At 22, this is just the beginning for the German and Tuchel should look to build his attack around him.
Malang Sarr – GO
His disastrous performance against Arsenal exhibited what has been known for some time – that Sarr just is not Chelsea quality. After arriving on a free transfer, the idea was to sell him on and made a today profit and that is exactly the plan this summer.