When you play FIFA as much as I do, especially Career Mode, you tend to imagine what players will be like in the years to come once they have (hopefully) developed. So I figured I would take a look at our current Chelsea squad and what I feel it may look like in the 2015/16 season (2 seasons from now for those counting at home). Keep in mind that I
can predict the future have not a clue who we will be bringing in the next four transfer windows, so I've decided to use the players Chelsea currently have under contract right now (Senior and Youth teams).
First position we'll take a look at is Goalkeeper, where we currently have 3 under contract who could start almost anywhere in Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, and the on-loan Thibaut Courtois. The man from Down Under, Mark Schwarzer, is currently 40 going on 41 years old, meaning he'll be 43 near the beginning of the 15/16 season. I expect him to be an excellent backup for Petr Cech this season and possibly next, but I don't believe he will be around in two years time. Petr Cech is currently one of the best goalkeepers on the planet and has been so for quite awhile now. Now it is no easy task to replace a world-class goalkeeper, especially one of Cech's caliber, but fortunately for Chelsea they have a goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois waiting in the wings who is potentially better than Cech right now. It's no stretch to say that Courtois has been the best goalkeeper in Spain the last two seasons, which is no small feat for a 21-year old to accomplish. Mourinho experienced first-hand the awesome-ness that is Thibaut Courtois, having faced him multiple times during his tenure at Real Madrid. I see no reason that Courtois won't be tending the net at Stamford Bridge by start of the 15/16 season, and it could even happen sooner. I just hope that the club handle the transition from Courtois to Cech with class and respect. Expect Chelsea fans to be "Thibaut-ing" in the near future. Hopefully one of Jamal Blackman, Sam Walker, and Matej Delac can develop enough to be sufficient backup to Courtois, though this remains to be seen.
Next up we move to Right-Back, where we currently have two very good ones on our roster for this season in Branislav Ivanovic and
Dave Cesar Azpilicueta. Swapping between right-back and center-back last season, Ivanovic was, in my opinion, our most consistent defender. I see him being crucial once again this season, where I think he will be playing predominantly at the right-back position for Mourinho. By the 15/16 season he will be 31 years old, not an ideal age for a defender, but nonetheless I feel he will still be part of the squad and hopefully still a key contributor. Cesar "We'll Just Call You Dave" Azpilicueta enjoyed a very solid first season in England for Chelsea, coming over from Marseille during the summer. It was not without mistakes, however, as his hands tended to wander from his body and make contact with the ball at a far too regular rate. I do see him developing well under Mourinho's tutelage, as he is already very strong going forward offensively (though he could use some work on his crossing). I see him as our starting right-back for the 15/16 season. A player who could be a threat to Dave's spot is the man who has been very impressive this pre-season, Wallace Oliveira dos Santos, or simply Wallace. Likely to go out on loan this summer because of work permit issues and to get regular playing time, I see Wallace being our backup right-back during the 15/16 season, and depending on his development possibly threatening for a starting berth.
We'll end Part One at Left-Back, where we have arguably the best one English football has seen the last decade in Ashley Cole. Cole had yet another stellar season in 2012/13 and earned himself a one-year contract extension like Frank Lampard, only his was signed quite a bit earlier. Mourinho will be happy to have the England international back for his return as Chelsea manager and vice versa. Backing up Cole this year once again is Ryan Bertrand. Bertrand had an up and down season in 12/13, where he featured more prominently under Roberto Di Matteo than he did for FSW. This could be a very crucial season for both, as Cole will be looking to earn another contract extension and Bertrand will be looking to establish himself as the man to take over the reigns from Cole for both club and country. Whether or not Bertrand does so could see him as our starting left-back in 2015/16, but Patrick van Aanholt or a certain Chelsea fan who plays left-back for Southampton (cough..Luke Shaw...cough) could step into that role instead.
Part Two will take a look at our Center Backs and Holding Midfielders. Until then, feel free to give your thoughts and opinions on the Present or the Future to be.