The Big Summer Rebuild – Part One

28 Mar, 2024
written by AD Hammer

The Big Summer Rebuild – Part One

Once again, we find ourselves in need of a serious rebuild this summer, which seems ludicrous when you consider we went through this two years ago and then strengthened another four positions last summer.

Personally, I am not sure we can do this adequately with the current manager, who seems intent on not building for the future and practising short-termism. That’s in the way he manages the squad, the type of signing he targets and his refusal to integrate academy players. Fortunately, the introduction of Tim Steidten has seen some common sense prevail and signings like Alvarez, Kudus and Mavropanos have come in.

Three or four players just won’t cut it this summer. We have the second oldest and smallest squad in the Premier and some of the players with age on their side have contracts up in the air. As we all know, Paqueta has a buyout clause, Mubama and Johnson have thus far refused to extend contracts that run out this summer, and Kehrer and Benrahma have buy out options.

Numerous ageing players are coming to the end of their contracts and if recent news is to be believed both Ogbonna and Fabianski may be given extensions. I would ordinarily say that it is madness to extend these contracts, but I suspect that the club is aware of the mammoth task coming this summer and are trying to squeeze another year from them as backups.

Funds wise, we should be in a good position. Another year of European football revenue, a second season of 62,500 capacity, season ticket price rises, a net GAIN of around £15-17m in last summer’s window and a net gain of around £9-10m (loans aside) in January. However, Sullivan will be hoping we forget our net gains and Sean Whetstone will be spreading the usual penniless propaganda, along with the added bonus of now milking what he can out of FFP.

Therefore, I suspect a Paqueta sale will be the major contributor to our warchest. Add maybe another £70m in other sales (possibly Benny, Kehrer, Cornet, Aguerd, Downes), and at least £50m from the board, and we should be looking at a budget of around £200m for the rebuild.

So, the first part of this series is to look at our current squad. Below is a visual for where I think we stand by position and player in defence, based on personal opinions of the quality (Q) of each player, their age (A) and the status of their contract (C).

 

 

GK/Defence

Defence needs a big rebuild in the summer, as we are going to be really short of numbers and quality. For me, we need two quality centre backs. Kehrer is likely to be gone, and Aguerd potentially too, we also need to replace Zouma as his knees are totally shot.

We also need a quality first team right back. Coufal is a solid enough player and would be fine for a back up, but we need more pace and skill in the first team for this position. We also need a back up left back and to move Cresswell off the books.

Shopping List:
2 First XI Centre Backs
1 Right Back
1 Left Back (backup)

 

Midfield/Attack

We have some real quality here and the stars indicate players that I believe are capable of playing in top four teams. In all likelihood we will be without all of the current left sided players next season and need at least one replacement, with a back up that can maybe play across the front line.

The right side looks bare but we know that Kudus is an AMC and AMR so we are more than covered. Up front we need a quality striker STILL, and with Mubama possibly off we also need to move on one of the ageing Ings and Antonio. The midfield three could do with an upgrade, Soucek and Ward Prowse are fine as back ups, Phillips is expected to return to City and Downes is potentially off too.

Shopping List:
1 LM/LW
1 LW/ST/RW back up
1 Striker
1 CM

In part two, we’ll look more at what we could do and how we could look after the rebuild.

 

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Player Links & Rumours Rated

Ratings will be updated as transfer window develops.

Player

Position

Age

Club

Potential Cost

Rating

Conor Gallagher

CM

23

Chelsea

£35m

Conor Gallagher

CM

23

Chelsea

£35m

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