January transfer window is less than 10 days away and the rumour mill is going wild. Few likely and some very unlikely transfers have been talked about, but one never knows what kind of surprises the transfer window will throw at us.
League leaders Chelsea have been in brilliant form since October, having won their previous 11 Premier League encounters. They sit comfortably at the top of the table and seem to be quite ahead from the rest of the herd in the race for the title. However, despite their strong squad, the Blues have been linked with moves for some stars from across Europe whereas a few players are rumoured to be heading for the exit doors.
And manager Antonio Conte has added fuel to the fire, hinting that there may very well be players coming in the winter window. Real Madrid star James Rodriguez is the biggest name that has been reportedly targeted by Chelsea, while there is also an interest in bringing in defensive reinforcements in the form of Antonio Rudiger and his AS Roma teammate Kostas Manolas. Radja Nainngolan remains a long-term target for the Londoners, but a move in January seems unlikely for the Belgian midfielder.
When some players come in, it is natural that some are shown the exit door. At Chelsea, it seems certain that Oscar is heading to China in a big money move, whereas Branislav Ivanovic, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is also expected to leave Stamford Bridge. Michy Batshuayi has emerged as a loan target for many clubs, but it remains to be seen if Conte allows his summer signing out on loan.
Here, we take a look at the strongest possible Chelsea line-up, if they manage to achieve success in all their transfer endeavours in January:
Thibaut Courtois (GK)
The Belgian has been solid for Chelsea in goal. Has kept 9 clean sheets in the eleven games since October.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RCB)
Azpilicueta has been one of the best Chelsea players this season. The Spaniard has taken to his new role of a right-sided centre-back like a duck takes to water. And with his excellent distribution, he is a great asset.
David Luiz (CB)
Contrary to popular opinion, Luiz has been solid as a rock for Chelsea, post his deadline day return to the Bridge from Paris St. Germain. The three-man defence suits him well, as he can step out into midfield as and when needed.
Kostas Manolas (LCB)
The Greek defender has been one of the most consistent performers for Roma year after year. His reading of the game, decent pace and his aggressive in-your-face defending should guarantee a starting spot ahead of the on and off Gary Cahill on the left-side of the three-man defence.
Victor Moses (RWB)
Revelation as wing-back, the Nigerian has forced regular right-back Branislav Ivanovic out to the bench and has made the spot his own with solid and determined performances week after week.
Marcos Alonso (LWB)
Another deadline day signing, Marcos Alonso, who was touted to be a panic buy, has slotted in at left wing-back seamlessly and has been one of the many bright spots for Chelsea this term.
N’Golo Kante (CM)
The Frenchman has continued from where he left off last season, post his move in the summer. Kante has been the key cog in the smooth running of the midfield and it is his endless energy and drive that keep the Blues going in the middle of the park.
Nemanja Matic (CM)
Matic looks to have found his mojo back, after a poor season under Jose Mourinho last term. Alongside Kante, the Serbian has shone in the midfield and has chipped in with goals and assists along with his contributions in the defensive half.
James Rodriguez (RW)
The Colombian has been struggling for game time under Zinedine Zidane at the Spanish Capital, and is interested in a move away. He will not come cheap though, and if Chelsea do bring him in, the extremely talented and versatile James will be starting on the right side of the attacking trio.
Eden Hazard (LW)
Hazard has rediscovered himself under Conte this season and is looking like the player who set the Premier League alight with his performances in the 2014-15 season. The freedom afforded to him in the 3-4-3 system is paying huge dividends.
Diego Costa (ST)
Phenomenal. That’s what Diego Costa has been for the Blues this term. The top scorer in the league this season with 13 goals, the Spain international is scoring at will and with the disciplinary issues seemingly receded, he looks focused and hungry for success.
Antonio Rudiger (Substitute)
While it might be a prudent choice to bring in the 23-year old German with John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic rumoured to be leaving, Rudiger may not immediately break into the starting XI, owing to the solid displays of Azpilicueta and Luiz.