One week before the season starts and still so many unanswered questions
1) Will we sign any defenders? We are getting near desperate territory now with the lack of quality defenders - down do just Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Azpi, Hector and Aina. That is absolutely dire. 3 guys over 30, two guys who have barely played and Azpi. The decision to loan Ake is looking worse every day. If we strike out on Koulibaly, which appears to be the case, who else can we realistically buy that would be an upgrade? We need a legit cenber back and another full back ASAP.
2) What formation? 4-2-4 or 4-3-3? We've looked so much better which 3 in the midfield, and certainly Conte has noticed. But that doesn't mean he's ready to give up on the 4-2-4. If we do play with 2 in the midfield, I hope that two doesn't include Cesc or Oscar. Neither looked comfortable in that 2-man midfield.
3) Have we given up on the ridiculous pursuit of Lukaku? Lets hope that chase is over and we've moved on to putting all money towards the defense.
4) Who gets sold? The names we keep hearing over and over that are rumored to be up for sale are Remy, Pedro, Cuadrado, Oscar and Matic. Of that bunch I'd definitely look to sell Remy and Pedro and keep the rest. I'd give Mikel the option of staying or leaving. He deserves the chance to play regularly if he desires. Remy has to go and I'd sell Pedro in order to keep Moses and Cuadrado.
5) Who gets loaned? Miazga, Kenedy, RLC, Moses, Cuadrado, Hector, Chalobah? Miazga is a no-brainer to get loaned, even if we are painfully thin at the back. I'd definitely look to loan RLC in order to get him some playing time. He's not ready. Kenedy barely played in preseason, so he looks likely to be loaned. No sense in leaving him out of the lineups all season. I will be livid if we loan out Chalobah again. He is ready now for legit minutes. Moses and Cuadrado have earned a spot over Pedro. Pedro has been the worst of the the backup wingers. Hector probably has to stay, for now.
6) Who is first choice in the midfield next to Kante? Matic, Cesc, Oscar or my guy Chalobah? Oscar has been really good in a 3-man midfield this preseason, enough for him to definitely be in the conversation to start ahead of either Matic or Cesc. Its good to have diverse options as all 4 of them bring something different. I'd probably give Matic and Cesc first crack, but both would have a short leash for Oscar and Chalobah.
My squad to start the season 4-3-3
+ Zouma (injured)
+ Van Ginkel (injured)
*I am reluctantly putting Willian as the starter. I love his work rate so he can stay as long as the offense is clicking, but if he starts killing the attack like he usually does, I'd be more than OK with Cuadrado or Moses taking over.
Loaned: RLC**, Kenedy***, Miazga, Hector****
Sold: Remy, Pedro
Must Buy: centerback, fullback, maybe a 1st choice winger
** RLC can stay if Mikel leaves,
*** Kenedy can stay if Pedro leaves and no other better wings are bought, like say, Mahrez
****Hector loaned if we buy a legit CB or in January once Zouma returns