I have decided to build my squad position by position. I aimed to make signings which would improve depth and quality which fit the 4-3-3 formation I am going with, but could also work a 4-2-3-1 if we need to mix things up or an attacking 4-4-2 when we need to score. It aims to rotate a lot and keep players fit. I will do a review at the end of who’s coming, going out on loan, being sold and the final squad for next season.
Cech and Courtois are definitely two of the best keepers in the world, probably both being in the top 5. At first I thought having both Courtois and Cech at the club to fight it out and share game time would be best. Especially as it would let Courtois learn from Cech and be at Chelsea. But I have come to realise if Cech plays much better, which is possible, Thibaut won’t get minutes. So he can go back to Atletico if he wants, or if he wants to come to the premier league we should let him. Alex Smithies has impressed me in the championship for Huddersfield and we could sign him for 1.5M. Alex has been consistent since the age of 18 for Huddersfield, and he’s still only 21. He was a bit unlucky with knee injuries last season, but has worked hard to prove to everyone how solid he is. With him here, we would have a home-grown player on our hands with a bunch of potential to challenge Cech and Courtois when they mess up. He is young so he could be a back-up for a long time here. Blackman will stay third choice, while Delac and Walker can go back out on loan.
KEEP: Cech / Blackman
BUY: Smithies (1.5M)
LOAN: Courtois (Atletico) / Delac (championship) / Walker (league 1)
Our left backs are debatable. Cole is an obvious starter but will probably leave next year. Bertrand and van Aanholt are two great up and comer’s, but whether either could succeed Cole is questionable. Continue with Bertrand here and loan PvA out to a better league. I would spend money on a young left back, and although many say Luke Shaw I have a cheaper option. Lille’s Lucas Digne is only 19 and the most defensive sound young left back on the planet. Buy him for a cheap 7M and loan him back to Lille for the season, then either give him a run here or loan him to the bundesliga/premier league.
KEEP: Cole / Bertrand
BUY: Digne (7M)
LOAN: Digne (Lille) / van Aanholt (Bundesliga)
Let’s start with who shouldn’t be here next season. Bruma is not who I though he had the potential to be, and he can leave for 4M. Christensen can start going out on loan, he is ready. Lastly Cahill will go for 12M. He is a good blocker and makes a lot of them, but overall he is a poor defender. Usually when he makes those blocks it’s to make up for his own mistakes. That leaves Terry, Ivanovic, Omerou and Luiz, and I want 5 centre backs. I planned on signing one class central defender to partner Luiz, and I was stuck. It was between Neven Subotic and Benedikt Howedes, but ended up getting Howedes. He is the best affordable centre back available, and 18M will bring him here. He has a lot of power and energy in his defence, I believe he and Luiz would be the best centre back pairing in the world along with Bayern’s and Cities. Ivanovic and Terry both stay and can be solid back-ups, with Terry starting to get zoned out of the squad. Omerou returns from loan as he has tremendous physical attributes and would much prefer him to come back and be 3rd/4th choice centre back over Cahill.
KEEP: Luiz / Ivanovic / Omerou / Terry
BUY: Howedes (18M)
LOAN: Christensen (league 1)
SELL: Cahill (12M) / Bruma (4M)
We are absolutely spoiled here, with four young and potential filled right backs. Kane and Wallace are raw and definitely not ready yet. A loan would do them good. Azpilicueta and Kalas would make a great partnership at the club. Tomas really impressed me when I got to see Vitesse games and has earned his stay here. There would be competition as well, which is always needed.
KEEP: Azpilicueta / Kalas
LOAN: Wallace (Vitesse) / Kane (championship)
I really don’t see why so many people want to sell Mikel. He is very solid and does his job perfectly, he will be played to the best of his abilities as the anchor man of a midfield trio. But of course he is the only star quality defensive midfielder here, and would like someone that plays a different type of game here as well. Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons has been terrific lately. He brings something different to Mikel and is solid on the ball with his goal scoring and passing skills. Another leader in our young squad would be very helpful, 15M would be his cost. Romeu and Ake get loans as one has been injured for a year and the other needs to continue his development.
BUY: Gonalons (15M)
LOAN: Romeu (liga bbva) / Ake (Watford)
I have two different roles here, and they both need different types of players. The first is a more advanced, creative role. Oscar fits this role nicely and will play here. But he is definitely not proven, we need someone who is a proven passer from deep here as well. Firstly thought of Modric but decided against it as there is someone better potentially available, Cesc Fabregas. Yes a bit controversial, but there’s no doubt that he is star power and could come if we give him good wages. I also doubt he would want to stay at Barcelona where there is so much competition. The other role is a box to box midfielder, Ramires will thrive here. Was going to have Chalobah with him, but decided against it. In comes Paulinho from Corinthians for 11M. Comparing him to Ramires, he is stronger and has better technique. But Ramires is faster and more of an engine, as well as premier league proven. He is certainly no Viera, but he would be a solid rotation and the best suited signing we could do for so cheap. Lampard can do both roles well and will come in when we need some experience. Chalobah, McEachran and Loftus-Cheek go out on loan to develop. Essien will be sold for 8M, past his peak and there’s no room in midfield for him.
KEEP: Ramires / Oscar / Lampard
BUY: Fabregas (22M) / Paulinho (11M)
LOAN: Chalobah (premier league) / McEachran (bundesliga) / Loftus-Cheek (league 1)
SELL: Essien (8M)
Let’s start with Hazard, Thorgan of course! I want him to go to Vitesse and replace the role Kakuta had on loan. Piazon goes to the Bundesliga, a league I believe is competitive and best for their development behind the premier league itself. The players leaving are Kakuta, Moses and Marin and we should get 16M for them. Was going to keep Moses but wanted the extra 9M to get a replacement. Mata and Hazard are two of the best in the world at what they do. De Bruyne is best suited on the wing and delivers great crosses, he can fight for minutes. I want to make two signings here, the first being a cheaper option. Was between Atsu who is on the last year on his contract and former gunner Carlos Vela. I went for Vela in the end as I wanted a right winger over a left winger and he is better. He would only cost 8M as well, much prefer him over Moses. He has been superb for Sociedad this season and would help our squad greatly. He would be like Schurrle or Jovetic except cheaper and our special find. I am willing to spend more for the next signing as 3 proven attacking midfielders would be nice. I would like Jesus Navas here, but he is off to City, so I decided to spend 16M on Koke. He is best played out on the right and has a great cross on him. He is also very comfortable on the ball being able to play in a midfield trio or behind the striker as well. He is young with a lot of potential and if it wasn’t for Isco a lot more noise would be made about him.
KEEP: Mata / Hazard / De Bruyne
BUY: Koke (16M) / Vela (8M)
LOAN: Piazon (Bundesliga) / T. Hazard (Vitesse)
SELL: Moses (9M) / Marin (4M) / Kakuta (3M)
First of all, Lukaku is staying, he played so much better than Ba and Torres last season. It would be very, very stupid for us to loan him out to Swansea or anyone else. Talking of Ba and Torres, they can both leave. Neither deserves to be playing here and we could get 22M for the pair. Obviously, we need another striker to compete with Lukaku. Coming into this I was always saying Cavani, but now that I think about it he is not the type of player I want. I want a poacher, our Hernandez. Huntelaar came to mind straight away, but he is old and I found someone I would prefer. He is Gonzalo Higuain. He will probably leave Madrid this transfer window and I will splash 20M on him. Gonzalo has played behind Benzema for a while now but we can really give him the game time he wants. On top of Higuain, Hamburg’s Heung-Min Son will be added to the squad. Son is an absolute magician with the ball at his feet and if we could teach him more composure in the box, he, Lukaku and Higuain would be 3 dangerous strikers that play totally different and we could spring anyone of them on your team’s defence. Would only be 10M. Also Feruz can get his first loan.
BUY: Higuain (22M) / Son (10M)
LOAN: Feruz (league 1)
SELL: Torres (12M) / Ba (10M)
Cesc Fabregas / 22M
Gonzalo Higuain / 20M
Benedikt Howedes / 18M
Koke / 16M
Maxime Gonalons / 15M
Paulinho / 11M
Heung-Min Son / 10M
Carlos Vela / 8M
Lucas Digne / 7M
Alex Smithies / 1.5M
With 20M left in the transfer kitty, I felt like it was a good opportunity to spend it on some youth. We already have arguably the best young prospects in the world along with Barcelona and Ajax, but why not buy more to cement ourselves as the number 1 team for youths. If we can use all our youth talent well, then we will be dominant for a very long time. We can buy experienced players as well, some people are relying far too much on youth. They can spend time on loan and if they are good enough they will replace the people at the club. If they end up not good enough to replace the players in the squad, we can sell them for some decent cash. I’m not signing these players because of their positions at all, it’s just all about their talent because signing young talent should never be about their position. Now onto the signings:
Douglas Baggio / 6.5M (ST)
He scored 72 goals in 53 games. Just let that sink in. Shown by that stat he impressed a lot in the youth system for Flamengo, and he has now been called up to the first team. A lot of reports I’ve read have said he is like fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho, but can play striker as well as attacking midfielder. I would like him as a striker that can not only score goals but exchange passes with Hazard, Mata, etc. I can say with full confidence that Douglas Baggio is the next big star to come out of Brazil, and I don’t mean like Neymar or Robinho, more on the lines of Ronaldo and Pele.
Will Hughes / 7M (MC)
He is the second youngest player to play in the England under 21’s behind Walcott, and there’s a reason why. Will Hughes is the real deal and a name that will be around for a while. He is what we really want Josh to be really. He is a danger on the ball because he can either lay off a brilliant long ball or dribble right past you. On top of that he is 6 feet tall already, so size is on his side. He can replace Lampard in the team when he is ready, he really is that good.
Neal Maupay / 1M (AM)
Neal is only 16 and is already a regular for his Ligue 1 side, Nice. He can play either striker or inside forward from the wings, but due to his size he would be best placed on the wings. He is very quick and although he is small, doesn’t get muscled off the ball easily, like Oscar in that regard. The most impressive aspect about him though is his finishing. He can finish wherever he is and he just has that eye for goal which can’t be taught. To have a player on the wings with that ability would be perfect. He would come extremely cheaply as well, he hasn’t signed a professional contract yet with Nice and we could offer a better one then them.
Martins Indi / 5.5M (DC)
The oldest player on the additional signings list at 21, Martins Indi is one of the best Dutch prospects currently playing. He is already starting for the Netherlands and is still not at a top club in Feyenoord. Indi’s physical tools are basically all that you want in a centre back. He is tall, strong, fast and has a good jump. He is a force to be reckoned with in the air and is good at passing it out from the back. What’s going against him and needs improvement is his positioning and possibly his tackiling. He can actually replace Omerou at the club this season as he is more of a finished product.
Ross Barkley / 4M (MC)
After breaking onto the scene in a big way for Everton, he has since been loaned out to get maximum game time and also for not being good enough for David Moyes’ first team. At Sheffield Wednesday this season, Ross Barkley has been incredible and has been showing a lot of potential. He looked great at getting in the oppositions face when defending and just being everywhere with his high stamina. Combine that with high power, speed and passing and it looks like Everton have got their own Jack Wilshere. But they really don't see it and that’s why we should get him for cheap and start creating a star for years to come.
Fernando Torres / 12M
Gary Cahill / 12M
Demba Ba / 10M
Victor Moses / 9M
Michael Essien / 8M
Marko Marin / 4M
Jeffrey Bruma / 4M
Gael Kakuta / 3M
Nathaniel Chalobah / Barclays Premier League
Ross Barkley / Barclays Premier League
Lucas Piazon / Bundesliga
Patrick van Aanholt / Bundesliga
Josh McEachran / Bundesliga
Thibaut Courtois / Liga BBVA (Atletico Madrid)
Oriol Romeu / Liga BBVA
Kenneth Omerou / Serie A
Lucas Digne / Ligue 1 (Lille)
Neal Maupay / Ligue 1 (Nice)
Will Hughes / Eredivisie (Vitesse Arnhem)
Thorgan Hazard / Eredivisie (Vitesse Arnhem)
Wallace / Eredivisie (Vitesse Arnhem)
Douglas Baggio / Liga Portuguesa
Nathan Ake / Npower Championship (Watford)
Todd Kane / Npower Championship ( Blackburn)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek / Npower League 1
Islam Feruz / Npower League 1
Andreas Christensen / Npower League 1
FINAL SQUAD: (depth chart)
GK: Petr Cech / Alex Smithies / Jamal Blackman
DR: Cesar Azpilicueta / Tomas Kalas
DM: Maxime Gonalons / John Obi Mikel
MC: Cesc Fabregas / Ramires / Oscar / Frank Lampard / Paulinho
ST: Gonzalo Higuain / Romelu Lukaku / Heung-Min Son
And just for the sakes of showing off the youth we would have, here is our amazing group 26 year old’s and under:
GK: Alex Smithies (23) / Thibaut Courtois (21) / Matej Delac (20) / Jamal Blackman (19)
DL: Ryan Bertrand (23) / Patrick van Aanholt (22) / Lucas Digne (19) / Cristian Cuevas (18)
DC: David Luiz (26) / Benedikt Howedes (25) / Martins Indi (21) / Kenneth Omerou (20) / Andreas Christensen (17)
DR: Cesar Azpilicueta (23) / Tomas Kalas (20) / Todd Kane (19) / Wallace (19)
DM: John Obi Mikel (26) / Maxime Gonalons (24) / Oriol Romeu (21) / Nathan Ake (18)
MC: Ramires (26) / Cesc Fabregas (26) / Paulinho (24) / Oscar (21) / Josh McEachran (20) / Ross Barkley (19) / Nathaniel Chalobah (18) / Will Hughes (18) / Ruben Loftus-Cheek (17)
AM: Juan Mata (25) / Carlos Vela (24) / Eden Hazard (22) / Kevin De Bruyne (21) / Koke (21) / Thorgan Hazard (20) / Lucas Piazon (19) / Neal Maupay (16) / Charly Musonda (15) / Jeremie Boga (15)
ST: Gonzalo Higuain (25) / Son Heung Min (20) / Romelu Lukaku (20) / Islam Feruz (17) / Douglas Baggio (17) / Alex Kiwomya (16)
For at least the next 8 years, all of these players have the potential to set the world on fire. If we complete the transfers and treat our youth properly, we could reach unseen heights.