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Is this what Chelsea’s starting XI will look like next season?

The 2015/16 season was largely one to forget for Chelsea fans. After cruising to the Premier League title just one year prior, the season was marred by embarrassing displays both on and off the field.

Two managers later and it seems that the club may be on a different path. Mourinho and Hiddink are both gone, and the club now have Italian Antonio Conte at the helm.

The Chelsea brass will expect Conte to propel the Chelsea side up the table once more, and he will no doubt be backed with a big enough transfer fund to invest into a number of big names.

With some of clubs stars looking back to their best, and with a few new signings in the bag, fans can expect an exciting new look Chelsea side going into next season.

Is this what Chelsea’s starting XI will look like next season?

Goalkeeper- Thibaut Courtois

Courtois could be the only safe player in Chelsea's squad this summer...

Starting off with an obvious one in goal; it is imperative that Chelsea manager to keep hold of Thibaut Courtois this summer.

Rumours have surrounded the goalkeeper for months, with many outlets suggesting that he is unhappy at the club, with Real Madrid reportedly circling.

These suggestions have begun to die down, with the keeper now set to keep his head down and focus on doing a job with the Blues.

Courtois’ quality is undeniable, and Chelsea have shown all the faith in the world towards the young Belgian, having sold their legendary keeper Petr Cech in favour of him. Now is the time for Courtois to repay that faith and stick it out with the club.

Defense – Ivanovic, Zouma, Koulibaly, Azpilcueta

Kurt Zouma (centre)

A mix of familiarity and change in the Chelsea defence, with Kalidou Koulibaly the only new name on the team sheet.

Chelsea have reportedly won the £30 million race for the Senegalese defender, and he will no doubt fit straight into the first team ahead of an ageing John Terry and out-of-form Gary Cahill.

The man to partner him in defence will likely be Kurt Zouma, who was really showing his class before his horrific leg injury mid-way through last season. When he returns towards the end of the year, he should easily find his way back into the first team.

The two central defenders will likely be flanked by the familiar pairing of Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic. Whilst many fans would like to see the back of Ivanovic, the fact is that there is nobody available currently that would fit into that right back slot as well as the man himself.

He had a choppy start to the season last year, but managed to recover it towards the end. He almost certainly has one more big year in him.

Everyone knows how good Cesar Azpilicueta is, and he will no doubt continue to be his consistent best, regardless of which side of the defence that he plays on next year.

Midfield – Kante, Fabregas, Matic

Fabregas Matic

Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic will once again be paired in the Chelsea midfield, as they look to regain the stunning form that they were in when they combined during the 2014/15 season.

Rumours have continued to persist over the future of Nemanja Matic, but The Blues must hold on to the Serbian and give him the chance to regain his form next year.

They could be joined by Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante, who formed the spine of the unstoppable Leicester City midfield on the way to Premier League glory.

Reportedly available for as little as £20 million, Kante would provide a much needed steely defence to a Chelsea midfield that was frequently exploited throughout much of last season. This would allow Cesc Fabregas to push up and play as an attacking midfielder, allowing him to do what he does best in providing changes for the side’s attackers.

Attack – Wllian, Batshuayi, Hazard

Football Soccer - Chelsea v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group G - Stamford Bridge, London, England - 9/12/15 Chelsea's Eden Hazard in action Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Of any of the players in this Chelsea side, none are more deserving of a starting place next season than Willian. Without his goals last year the side would no doubt have been battling relegation, and he will no doubt improve even more next year. Offering excellent set pieces, an enviable engine and unbelievable technical ability; he really is the perfect attacking midfielder.

On the other side of the attack will be Eden Hazard. He had a very rough 2015/16 season, offering very little to a side that he was unstoppable in just a year prior. However, he has just come off of the back of a European Championship in which he looked very impressive, and has expressed a number of times in the media that he will be back to his best next year.

Much like Willian he can win this side points on his own, and his improved form will be a huge asset to the side next year.

The choice of striker here is a controversial one, given the ability that everyone knows Diego Costa has. He has scored goals in both of his seasons in England, but last year was a largely disappointing on for the Spanish striker. To add to that, his attitude both on and off the field has often got him in trouble on a number of occasions, bringing his position in the Chelsea team under question.

To add insult to injury, quite literally, an injured hamstring prevented Vincent Del Bosque from bringing the Striker to Euro 2016 this summer.

In Michy Batyushi you have a young, hungry striker who the club has just signed for £33 million. The club wouldn’t have paid such a hefty sum for a player to sit on the bench, so it does seem likely that he will be given an opportunity going into the start of next season. If he performs as we all know he can; is there really a place for Diego Costa in this Chelsea side?

Article title: Is this what Chelsea’s starting XI will look like next season?

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