Ever since Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003, there haven’t been many years at Chelsea that haven’t been full of surprises and shocks galore.
We’ve taken a little look at five things we think could go down at Stamford Bridge this year, from the departures of a number of stars to a disappointing end to the season for Blues fans…
1) Eden Hazard is going to leave
Rumours surrounding Hazard’s future at Chelsea have been circulating for quite a while now, and if there’s one thing that we can see happening in 2019, it’s the Belgian sealing a move away from Stamford Bridge.
As per Don Balon, Hazard already has a ‘verbal agreement’ with Real Madrid regarding sealing a move to the Spanish giants, however the two clubs are yet to agree on a deal for the 27-year-old.
Real have looked very average going forward this season, and it’s clear to see that Los Blancos are dearly missing former player Cristiano Ronaldo and his presence in their side following his move to Juventus last year.
Hazard is one of the best players on the planet, and it’s clear for all to see that the Belgian has it in him to replace the void Ronaldo has left at the Santiago Bernabeu following his departure.
Hazard is a player that deserves to win trophies, and when you consider that Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premier League look very slim this season, combined with the fact that the club aren’t in the Champions League, another campaign without silverware could very well see the player call time on his stint at Stamford Bridge.
Whether he goes to Real Madrid or another one of Europe’s top clubs like PSG, we can almost definitely see Hazard packing his bags and leaving the west London club at the end of the season.
2) They’re to end the season without winning a trophy
If there’s one thing that has proven to be a thorn on Maurizio Sarri throughout his career, it’s his seeming inability to win trophies no matter where he manages.
Despite having managed 15 different Italian sides before he moved to Chelsea last summer, Sarri is still yet to win a trophy of any kind in his career, something that we’re sure will be playing on the Italian’s mind should the Blues end the season trophyless.
The club already look out of the race for the Premier League title, and given the fact that they are (probably) going to have to get past both Spurs and Man City to win the League Cup, that effectively looks out of the question to us as well.
Chelsea are one of the favourites to win the Europa League (as they should be), however with teams like Sevilla, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Napoli all in the knockout rounds of the competition, the Blues aren’t going to have it easy if they’re to win the competition for the first time since 2013.
This only leaves one trophy that Chelsea can win: the FA Cup, and given the competitions habit of producing massive shocks year after year, no team can ever be sure of winning the trophy, no matter what league 2 side they get drawn against in the latter stages.
And, if the Blues were to be knocked out of the FA Cup, that would, by our logic, leave the Blues empty-handed in terms of silverware come the end of the season, something we’re sure the club’s fans wouldn’t be happy to see at all.
3) A number of the club’s best young players will leave
If there’s one thing Chelsea have become known for over the past few years, it’s that the club are seemingly very reluctant to let young players get a chance to prove themselves in their first team.
In the past, we’ve seen the club sell younger players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, as well as loan out stars like Nathaniel Chalobah and Tammy Abraham, rather than give then a solid run in the first team to prove their worth.
And we think the club could be about to make the same mistakes yet again, as should they continue to be left on the sidelines by Sarri, we could easily see a plethora of the club’s best young players leave.
Recent reports from Sky Sports Germany’s Max Bielefeld have stated that Bayern Munich have seen a €22.5M bid for Callum Hudson-Odoi rejected by the west London club, with the same reporter also noting that the Blues want €40M for the 18-year-old, something that shows the club’s youth prospects wouldn’t be short of options should they want to leave.
Hudson-Odoi is just one of a number of Chelsea’s youth stars that we can see leaving the club this year, as should players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu continue to be neglected by Sarri, we could easily see them forcing through moves away to secure regular game time elsewhere.