Chelsea currently sit top of the Premier League with a talented winning squad under the guise of one of the smartest tactical minds in world football, Thomas Tuchel.
Though that enthusiasm will not eradicate any discussion or rumours about how the European champions will approach the January transfer window, asking what moves should be prioritised if any?
January is notoriously a challenging window to make smart deals. And here, are the two priorities highlighted by the European Champion :
Resolve Rudiger and Christensen contracts
Both Rudiger and Christensen could leave the club as free agents next summer, but recent reports have hinted that talks are ongoing and new contracts could be offered soon.
The lack of movement on negotiations for the contracts of defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen has worried fans, with both appearing to stall.
The German and Dane have become regular starters under Tuchel in 2021 and both have performed to a consistently high level. They have both won winners’ medals in the FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League and Super Cup since then, and are now key starters in Thomas Tuchel’s side and according to reports, the club will work on these deals before they focus on the extension of Mount’s contract.
According to The Athletic, the Chelsea hierarchy ‘feel they have made Rudiger a very good offer’ with regards to a wage hike, and have no plans to increase it beyond the reported £140,000-a-week figure.
The German is looking for £200,000 a week as a reward for his fine form since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at the club.
Rudiger has arguably been one of the best centre-backs in the league over the calendar year, and is thoroughly deserving of a pay rise up to the level of the Blues’ other top earners.
As for Christensen, he too is worthy of an increase in salary after an incredible run of 42 clean sheets in the last 52 games for club and country.
Yet, according to Goal, there has been a two-month standoff between the club and the player’s representatives, as the contract the Blues offered the 25-year-old in August would see him remain among the lowest earners within the first-team squad.
Christensen is a perfect fit for the most central defender in Tuchel’s back three system and, as a former youth player, is someone the Blues should especially want to keep hold, given the age of Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, both of whom are also out of contract next summer.
After the contract extension of Chaloboah, and the news of De ligt flying everywhere, Chelsea will be looking to resolve their center backs contract issues ahead the summer window.
Clarify Gilmour situation
It’s likely Billy Gilmour will remember Euro 2020 differently to most Scots. While Scottish fans will look back at the tournament with disappointment after crashing out in the group stage, the 20-year-old will recall the moment he truly announced himself at the elite level of the sport.
Gilmour only played one match for Scotland at Euro 2020, but it came against England at Wembley where he won Man of The Match following his scintillating display.
A loan switch to Norwich City has since followed, with Gilmour set to spend the 2021/22 season working under Daniel Farke in a bid to see the 20-year-old receive more game time than what would have been the case at parent club Chelsea, the theory being that this will accelerate his development.
However, this hasn’t been the case, Billy Gilmour started Norwich’s first three matches of the season, it looked like the loan could be smooth sailing.
Now, the Scotland international has had to settle for a place on the bench which has led to several concerns from within the Chelsea camp that the move was a mistake.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he’s considering recalling Billy Gilmour from his season-long loan at Norwich City and could wait until January before making a final decision on Gilmour.
“We will take the decision in January when it has to be made,” Tuchel said speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League trip to Malmo on Tuesday night.
In general, I spoke with Daniel [Farke] about it and I was happy to meet Billy around the Norwich match at Stamford Bridge.
It was clear when we spoke about it that he wants more minutes and more game time at another club.”
The young Scot has been earmarked as a future Chelsea superstar, but the club felt a loan move was in the player’s best interest, given the intense competition for places in central midfield at Stamford Bridge.
Given Farke’s strong comments on Gilmour’s lack of minutes recently and the current plight of a side destined for relegation, Chelsea should seriously consider recalling the midfielder in January if he continues to warm the bench.
However, Gilmour returning to a title-chasing Chelsea and just replacing one substitute role for another would not be desired, so the club may have to act quickly to secure another loan for the second half of the season in a limited period.
Chelsea have Gilmour tied to a contract through to the summer of 2023, but need him to be playing regularly in order for full potential to be unlocked. He has seen opportunities at his parent club, with Frank Lampard handing him a senior breakthrough, but cementing a role in first-team plans has proved difficult.
Gilmour has taken in 22 appearances for Chelsea, with five of those coming under Tuchel’s guidance. He’s part of Scotland team to face Moldova with a win against Moldova will guarantee Scotland second spot .