• Sam Collins

TUCHEL'S KINGS OF EUROPE: WHAT TO EXPECT OF CHELSEA NEXT YEAR


On the 25th of January, things were looking bleak for Chelsea fans, Frank Lampard had just been sacked and they were sat in ninth place in the Premier League.


With so much excitement at the beginning of the season, after splashing the cash in the summer transfer window, this is not where fans had expected to be.


Former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund manager, Thomas Tuchel took over the reins and he was set the goal of securing a Champions League place for next season.


No one anticipated the dramatic turnaround we saw.


Now crowned as Champions League victors, and delivering a top four finish, many Chelsea fans are eagerly awaiting what looks to be an exciting future.


Even once they had made the Champions League Final, they were heavy underdogs against a Manchester City side that was eyeing up a treble.


As they have done under Thomas Tuchel though, Chelsea played superbly and were deserved winners.


The real question is now, where does this leave them for next season?


Although they are the champions of Europe, there is room for improvement for this squad if they hope to challenge on all fronts.


Ahead of next season, they have already been labelled as one of the big four teams that are in contention for the Premier League title.


This involves this year's winners, Manchester City, and the other two top four finishers, Manchester United and Liverpool.


If they want to be able to compete for the title, one of the major problems that they need to solve this summer is having a top quality goal scorer.


Last summer’s signing of Timo Werner looked to be the answer, but he has struggled in front of goal, missing a lot of good chances.


In the league, Chelsea did not have a player that reached double figures for goals last season, with their highest being Jorginho with a total of just seven, all of which were from the penalty spot.


This can of course be looked at in a positive way, as it shows they have a vast range of players who can score goals, but they desperately need someone to lead the way.


There have been many rumours flying around, tying quality marksmen such as Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland to Stamford Bridge, but currently, the most likely signing seems to be Romelu Lukaku.


The former blue, has just come off a fantastic season with Inter Milan, scoring a total of 30 goals and winning the Serie A title.


He is just 28 years old, and of course has a lot of previous Premier League experience.


Chelsea want a proven striker and he can do it on the big stage and has some very impressive numbers making him a perfect fit.


This is not the only position they want to strengthen, with Tuchel continuing their interest in West Ham midfielder, Declan Rice.


He was of course a former player in the Chelsea academy, but was released, could we see him make a return?


Moving from the midfield to the defence, and you have to wonder how much Tuchel would want to tamper with it.


One of the strongest factors of the end of season run at Chelsea, was the number of clean sheets they were able to rack up.


In the Champions League Final, the effort shown to keep out Manchester City and limit their chances was immense.


Within this squad, there is a real blend of both experience and youth, and as proven this year, it is a combination that is working.


If there is a push for the title, and potentially other trophies next season, there is one man who is absolutely key, N’Golo Kante.


He has had injury problems, but in both the final and semi-finals of the Champions League, he was incredible.


Now a World Cup winner, Premier League Winner and Champions League winner, his resume is out there with the best.


Obviously, Chelsea were in an extremely different position just six months back, but with the glory they have had, next season is looking very bright.


If they can make some more signings, and add even more strength to the current squad, they will be challenging for trophies across the board.