Chelsea have got off to a hot start this season with the team currently sitting joint top of the Premier League table with only 2 points dropped. They have also started their defence of the Champions League successfully following a win over Zenit. There are a number of reasons for Chelsea’s early success but one thing that has come into play, and will continue to make an impact, is the squad depth.
Chelsea Squad Depth Can Be a Difference Maker This Season
The Importance of Chelsea’s Squad Depth
Now more than ever it is important to have more than just a good starting eleven. The set of players that finishes the game is just as, if not more important, than the eleven that initially take to the field. In addition, the ability to bring on key players throughout the game to make tactical switches can often be the difference between winning and losing.
Chelsea have utilized this in their past two league games. Against Aston Villa, new signing Saul Niguez had a debut to forget, at half time Chelsea were able to bring on UEFA Men’s Player of The Year Jorginho and eased to victory in the second-half with the help of this change. Similarly, against Tottenham Hotspur, the first half was scoreless but Chelsea brought on N’Golo Kante at halftime and proceeded to dominate the second half with a new formation. While Chelsea were in the driving seat of both games before making the necessary changes, it is clear that their substitutions and squad depth were used to swing the momentum in their favour.
Range of Options Make Chelsea’s Depth Special
Taking a look at the Chelsea bench for the aforementioned match with Tottenham, names like N’Golo Kante, undeniably one of the best midfielders in the game today, and Saul Niguez, who despite a poor debut has a reputation as a tenacious defensive midfielder. Further up the field, they could call on talented forward Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is out to impress manager Thomas Tuchel, as well as Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. All three players can add new energy to the team’s offensive lineup which can become more effective as the game goes on with their pace and willingness to chase every ball. Ben Chilwell, Reece James, and Trevoh Chalobah make up the defensive reinforcements, James and Chilwell are solid alternatives for Chelsea to bring on in the wing-back positions.
Looking outside of the substitute bench, Chelsea have names like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley waiting in the wings to fill out the squad if necessary.
Chelsea Will Count On Their Depth More and More as the Season Goes On
As the season goes on, Chelsea are likely to dip into their depth more and more and its strength will speak for itself. While they may be light as far as central defenders go, the ability to keep the wing-backs fresh will be useful as the season wears on. The greatest strength is the ability to mix and match in midfield and offense. Chelsea has a variety of players in these positions, each with their individual strengths which Tuchel will need to exploit to the fullest if he is to remain competitive on all fronts and utilize the Chelsea squad depth to his advantage.
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