It is all change at Chelsea this summer.
With Antonio Conte installed as manager, the Italian boss is moving quickly to reinvigorate his flailing side after a terribly disappointing campaign last season.
A 10th place finish will not be tolerated again, and Chelsea must look to rebuild and redesign their problem areas – and perhaps the area with the most issues last year came at the back.
Injuries and form really hurt the Blues’ defence, often stumbling to cagey defeats and last minute goals.
That MUST change under Antonio Conte, and the only way to bring the Chelsea defence back up to par is to bring in some reinforcements – forming a new look Chelsea back line.
With that, this is Chelsea’s DREAM back four for next season including starlet Ola Aina.
Defensive starlet Ola Aina has been the shock of the summer so far for Chelsea, with the young full back coming into the side during pre-season and taking to his new role like a fish to water amongst the more experienced members of the Chelsea first team.
Coming through the Chelsea academy, Aina recently signed a new four year deal with the club; and Antonio Conte clearly sees him as a future Chelsea star.
He has been picking up more minutes than any other player in the Chelsea squad so far, and so it seems inevitable that he will get a chance to impress in the first team next season.
With first choice right back Branislav Ivanovic out injured with a dislocated shoulder, the door has been left wide open for Aina to take his chance, and if his pre-season performances are anything to go by – he should have no trouble making the step up.
A pacey, technically gifted full back capable of playing on either side, he has everything needed to become a top star in the future.
Last season was not good enough for anyone in the Chelsea back line, but after Kurt Zouma suffered a season ending injury and left the first team fold, things got even worse for the Blues.
Despite his tender years, Kurt Zouma became a real mainstay of the Chelsea first team before his injury, and without him there the side really missed his physical presence and defensive ability.
He can read the game better than any player in that back line, and having the opportunity to play next to John Terry his game had improved ten-fold.
He is now fit again and looks raring to go in pre-season training, and he will no doubt find himself back in the first team fold as soon as possible.
Zouma is still young and raw, but like Ola Aina he has fit into the Chelsea first team with no issues at all. An easy choice for the centre of defence.
With John Terry getting on and Gary Cahill often unreliable, bringing in a new central defender has been a priority all summer long for Antonio Conte, and it seems as though Kalidou Koulibaly has become the Italian boss’s first choice.
A strong, pacy defender, Koulibaly would fit right into this new look Chelsea back line.
Naturally left sided central defenders are a rarity in the modern game, with John Terry one of the last to slot in there comfortably, but Koulibaly is of the same mould – meaning he is the perfect man to take the place of JT in the starting line up long-term.
Many Chelsea fans would love to see Azpilicueta on the right hand side of the Chelsea defence, but over the last few seasons he has proved that he is the ideal man that you need at left back.
Defensively solid and one of the most consistent players to ever wear a Blue shirt, you know exactly what you’re getting with Cesar Azpilicueta.
Despite the club spending £20+ million on a left back last summer to replace Azpilicueta, he has refused to budge and was a standout performer in a generally poor Chelsea side last season.
He will rarely produce game changing crosses or passes, but rarely is Azpilicueta ever beaten at the back and he never has a bad game; he is EXACTLY what Chelsea need to rebuild their defence next season.