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The Contenders To Be Chelsea’s New Number Nine Next Season

With the club having officially announced Gonzalo Higuain has returned to Juventus at the end of his loan spell, the question now is who will lead the line for Chelsea next season?

The Blues’ transfer ban means the next manager will have limited options at his disposal so let’s look at the potential candidates:

Olivier Giroud

The favourite to be given the nod up front, the Frenchman had his contract extended for a further year following his exploits in the Europa League last season.

Giroud was a key player throughout the competition, bagging 11 goals and opening the scoring in the final against Arsenal. The 32-year-old will be difficult to dislodge ahead of next season.

Tammy Abraham

Abraham

Many fans want the 21-year-old to be given a shot in the first team next campaign. After scoring 26 goals on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship, he has certainly made a strong case for himself.

However, there is still question marks over whether he can score consistently at the highest level. In the 2017/18 season, he scored just eight goals for Swansea whilst on loan.

It must be said, though, that the Swans were battling against relegation, and playing alongside better players should help him get more chances in front of goal.

Michy Batshuayi

The Belgian striker has never really been favoured by any manager since his £33m arrival from Marseille in 2016. He scored goals for fun whilst out on loan at Borussia Dortmund but struggled at Valencia at the beginning of last season.

Batshuayi did make a better impression when he switched to Crystal Palace in January, scoring six goals in 13 games, but his overall quality has consistently been questioned.

The 25-year-old will probably find himself behind Abraham at the beginning of next campaign, and the new manager may even consider offloading him so we shall see.

Other Contenders

We’ve mentioned a couple of youth players in another blog post who could be given chances next season. Both Daishawn Redan and Charlie Brown played very well in the EFL Trophy against senior teams last campaign and lit up the UEFA Youth League as the Under 19s reached the final.

Neither player is likely to be ready for regular first-team football, but don’t be surprised to see either player get a few runouts, especially if Batshuayi is deemed surplus to requirements by the new manager.

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