Chelsea’s dream end of January XI

It has now been just over a month since Jose Mourinho’s departure, following a dismal start to the season, which has seen Chelsea in a real relegation scrap.

Hiddink has since done a great job to steady the ship, but the team is still struggling in some key areas on the pitch and needs fresh signings to inject some quality.

Mourinho wasn’t backed by Abramovich and the Chelsea board in the summer, so it is difficult to predict how much Hiddink, the interim manager, will have to spend during the January transfer window, especially now that results and performances are improving and there isn’t much to play for.

With so many teams at the top of the table dropping points on a weekly basis, you can’t write off the club’s chances of making the top four just yet, so this transfer window could be crucial.

Here is my dream post-January Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1), including some of the names that have recently been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge…

Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois

Asmir Begovic did a fantastic job between the sticks during Thibaut Courtois’ lengthy injury break, but the Belgian, who is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, is on another level.

He has been unfairly criticised in recent weeks, but the players in front of him have let him down big time. Without his stunning save to deny Kevin Mirallas recently, Everton would have taken all three points from Stamford Bridge in a match Chelsea could not afford to lose.

Branislav Ivanovic

Right Back - Branislav Ivanovic

Branislav Ivanovic was arguably Chelsea’s worst performer at the start of the season, but he has looked much more solid in recent weeks.

The Serbian right-back is prone to mistakes and the club definitely need to strengthen his position in the summer. Right now, he remains Chelsea’s best option and his leadership on the pitch also gives him an advantage over other players.

John Stones

John Stones

Having had a £38million bid for John Stones rejected in the summer, Chelsea are reportedly preparing another raid on Everton for their young England defender.

The west London club can’t seem to find a solid centre-back pairing and even Kurt Zouma, who many believe could be a future captain, isn’t convincing with regards to his positioning.

Stones could learn from John Terry, one of the best defenders in Premier League history, for a few years before the veteran captain retires, and eventually reach legendary status if he continues his progression.

John Terry

John Terry

The Chelsea captain is one of the few players who has genuinely given his everything this season. His leadership is still crucial to the team and in an era where many fans don’t feel as close to their players anymore, he bridges that gap.

Handing him a new deal before the end of the season should be a priority for Chelsea because, right now, it is hard to imagine a Chelsea team without John Terry.

Cesar Azpilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta has undoubtedly been one of the most consistent players in recent seasons and the ridiculously low transfer Chelsea paid for him still beggars belief.

The left-back, who was originally brought in to play on the right, currently looks irreplaceable and he should be the first name on Chelsea’s team sheet for many years to come.

John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel (Chelsea)

Who would have thought that John Obi Mikel could one day save Chelsea’s season? With all his experience, the Nigerian has been able to fill a massive hole in the defensive midfield position.

Hiddink relied on him massively during his first spell at Chelsea in 2009, and it seems that special bond between manager and player is still there. He will keep his place if Nemanja Matic doesn’t drastically improve, which is looking highly unlikely.

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas

The former Barcelona midfielder is another player who was heavily criticised by fans, with some of them (wrongly) blaming him for Mourinho’s departure.

He has looked a different player in 2016 and Cesc Fabregas’ performances will undoubtedly have an impact on Chelsea’s season.

It will be interesting to see whether Hiddink prefers him in a more advanced role, where he doesn’t have to do as much defensive work – something he often struggles with.

Willian

Willian Prove

Willian has been Chelsea’s best player for a good year now. When the team struggled towards the end of last season, it was him who carried the Blues over the line to win the Premier League title.

He managed to carry his form into this campaign and has been the one shining light. If Willian plays well, Chelsea play well.

It his important the club tie him down for another couple of years and talks over a new contract are reportedly progressing well.

Alex Teixeira

Alex Teixeira

The Shakhtar Donetsk star has been linked with a £30million move to Chelsea for a few months now, and it’s easy to see why he is being chased by several top clubs in Europe.

26 goals and five assists in 26 games this season, plus his versatility in midfield, have made him one of Chelsea’s top transfer targets. Oscar has really struggled to cement his place in the offensive midfield position at Stamford Bridge and many believe it is time for a change.

It will be very difficult to sign the Brazilian in January, but having mentioned that Chelsea would be a ‘dream move‘ on several occasions, there is hope that his club will eventually let him move to London. Maybe we have to wait until the summer.

Eden Hazard

Chelsea v Paris St Germain - UEFA Champions League Second Round Second Leg

Last season’s Player of the Year has looked a shadow of his former self, but nobody can deny that Eden Hazard, in top form, is still one of the best players in Europe.

A move to the Spanish capital now seems unlikely as Real Madrid have been hit with a transfer ban, much to the relief of Chelsea fans all over the world.

Helping his Belgian superstar rediscover his confidence will be one of Hiddink’s biggest and most difficult tasks. His form is essential to Chelsea’s hopes of any cup success this season, as well as a decent league finish.

Diego Costa

Diego Costa

Diego Costa has certainly been Chelsea’s best player since Hiddink’s appointment, scoring five goals in his last five matches.

While the club may be considering a move for another striker due to fitness concerns, he remains Chelsea’s best option up front.

You can question his antics on the pitch sometimes, but he is always committed and determined to fight for his team. The Blues look like a completely different team when he isn’t available, and if he keeps out of trouble, he can still have a similar impact to last season.