Haaland, Hakimi and Rice in for Chelsea, see how Tuchel could lineup his team

It’s no longer news that Chelsea’s primary transfer targets this summer are Erling Haaland, Achraf Hakimi and Declan Rice. La Gazzeta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) even reported that Inter Milan rejected a €60 million bid from Chelsea for Hakimi. If the blues were to land all three of their targets, here are three possible ways manager, Thomas Tuchel could set up the team next season.

The 3-4-3 formation

The major reason, according to the media, why Thomas Tuchel wants Hakimi is because he has a plan to convert Reece James to the right centre back in his preferred 3-man defence. Reece James played a couple of games in that position for Chelsea last season and if Hakimi were to be signed, we could see him playing that role more often with captain César Azpilicueta competing for a starting berth.

Declan Rice would likely be in the starting XI with N’golo Kanté as his pivot partner while Mason Mount, Erling Haaland and Timo Werner will likely be the starters in the attack. The rest of the squad will likely include the usual starters of the just ended season.

The 4-3-3 formation

Thomas Tuchel could also decide to go for a 4-3-3 formation with Hakimi as right back and Antonio Rüdiger partnering Thiago Silva in the centre of the defence. This formation means that James will be Hakimi’s direct competition for place in starting lineup while César Azpilicueta may struggle to get playing time.

Declan Rice, in this formation, will play as the lone defensive midfielder and could also double as the third defender when needed. Mason Mount and N’golo Kanté are likely to be the other two midfielders in this formation. The attack could see the trio of Christian Pulisic/Kai Havertz, Erling Haaland and Timo Werner. Pulisic is likely to get the nod ahead of Havertz as the German is seen more as a centre forward than a winger by the manager.The 4-4-2/4-2-2-2 formation

This is another formation that would play to the strengths of most of the players in the squad. Reece James is likely to be the starting right back in this formation, with Achraf Hakimi in the right midfield position. Declan Rice and Kanté play together as the midfield pivot. Timo Werner thrived so well two seasons ago in a 4-4-2 formation and having him play in partnership with Erling Haaland could bring out the best of him at Stamford Bridge.

Mason Mount is a guaranteed starter for the blues and the only spot left for him in this formation is in the left wing. He played the same position in the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City and he was decent in the game.The 4-4-2 formation could also be tweaked into a 4-2-2-2 formation as used by Frank Lampard in Chelsea’s opening game against Brighton last season. In this formation, Hakimi starts in the right back position ahead of James while Mount’s position is that of an attacking midfielder, along side Kai Havertz. All other positions remain the same as described earlier.Analysis

Of the formations listed above, the 3-4-3 seems to be the best option for two major reasons. The first reason is because the formation is not new to the team. It’s a formation that won the blues the UCL and adapting in time for next season won’t be a problem for the new signings. Secondly, the 3-4-3 can easily be tweaked to a 4-4-2 formation without having to make any substitution. This could come in handy in games when tactical changes need to be made.

The 4-3-3 formation is also a good and very balanced formation but it means there will be only one spot for Hakimi, James and Azpilicueta to compete for. Hakimi will definitely get the nod as a big signing while the captain may struggle to get minutes.

As for the 4-2-2-2 formation, the right back position will face the same problems as the 4-3-3 formation. Apart from this, there won’t be natural wingers in the team which opponents may try to exploit. But the best thing about this formation is that everyone gets to play in their natural positions.

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