In just 17 days Chelsea will kick-off the Premier League season at Huddersfield. Despite the crushing timeline, Maurizio Sarri probably still doesn’t know what starting midfield he’ll shoo down the tunnel at John Smith’s Stadium.
Chelsea might add another body (Inter’s Matías Vecino is rumored to be a target, possibly because Sarri coached him at Empoli) but more pertinently, we have our own players to sort out. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is on his post-World Cup holiday and Sarri has yet to lay eyes on him. Tiémoué Bakayoko had a tidy appearance against Perth but didn’t dazzle. Danny Drinkwater didn’t play at all (to continue a theme). Ross Barkley had his best game in a Chelsea shirt at Optus Stadium. N’Golo Kanté isn’t going anywhere and neither is Cesc Fabregas.
Some kind of shakeup feels inevitable, with at least one player either being sold or loaned.
According to the Daily Mail, Crystal Palace already know how it will all go down. Despite Loftus-Cheek enjoying a breakout season for them last year (and consequently making the England squad for the World Cup), the Mail claims the Eagles have set their sights on adding Danny Drinkwater on loan.
Since Premier League rules limit them to one loan player from each Prem club, the obvious implication is that, despite Roy Hodgson’s repeated pleas to have RLC back for an encore, they believe that Ruben will stick with Chelsea for the upcoming season. Which would presumably make Double-D available for a loan, since it’s unlikely that anyone will cough-up the £35m that Chelsea paid for him and take him off of our hands.
I wonder what else that crystal ball is telling them at Selhurst Park?