As Mauricio Pochettino closes in on a sensational return to the Premier League with Chelsea, the former Tottenham boss will already be contemplating the long to-do list he is set to be faced with upon arrival.
The Argentine will hope to turn the club’s fortunes around after what has been a dismal and chaotic season with Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, Bruno Saltor and Frank Lampard all taking charge of the team at points.
Chelsea are languishing in 11th place and are on course for their first bottom-half finish since the 1995-96 campaign in what has been a tumultuous first year of ownership under the Todd Boehly-led group.
The American can’t be accused of not trying to bring success to the club, spending more than £600m on 18 players across the summer and winter transfer windows, but their strategy has often looked haphazard and flawed.
This has culminated in the Blues using a whopping 32 players in total this season – the second most in the top flight behind Nottingham Forest’s 33.
Former Tottenham and PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino in closing in on the Chelsea job
The Blues have endured a disastrous season while languishing in 11th in the Premier League
It has been a chaotic first year under the Todd Boehly-led ownership group for Chelsea
The size of the squad has been so large that, at times, players have even had to get changed in the corridors of the training ground due to the dressing room not being big enough to house so many first-team stars.
Pochettino will likely want to strengthen in the summer, but he will be tasked with moving on several players to trim the squad in order to create more unity and space, along with the need to satisfy Financial Fair Play regulations, after the club posted a £121m loss last year.
This will likely lead to many high-profile departures, with academy product and fans favourite Mason Mount strongly linked with a move away, having not yet extended his contract ahead of its expiry next summer – although Pochettino is keen to keep the England man.
The club could see as many as 10 senior first team players leave, but they have also been linked with additions as Mail Sport reported how Lautaro Martinez, Emiliano Martinez, Declan Rice, Alex Mac Allister are all targets, along with the impending arrival of Christopher Nkunku for £63m.
In light of the speculation, Mail Sport takes a look at how Chelsea could line up for next season in Pochettino’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.