It seems Chelsea are in and out of a crisis with the passing of every full moon.
The latest cloud hanging over Maurizio Sarri and his men is the prospect of two celibate transfer windows.
But is that necessarily a bad thing?
With 41 players out on loan, some of those forgotten men might just be about to get their chance.
Kurt Zouma – Everton
Zouma is one of the more obvious options for the Blues having already featured for them 47 times in the Premier League.
The former Stoke City defender even has three caps for the French national team.
He is currently a starter for Everton but the Toffees will face a struggle to keep a hold of the big man for next season.
Fikayo Tomori – Derby County
The 21-year-old has been getting a lot of game time in the Championship under the leadership of a man who knows a thing or two about his parent club.
Chelsea’s all-time top scorer, Frank Lampard, has shown faith in the youngsters he has on loan.
Should the U20 World Cup winner return to Stamford Bridge, he wouldn’t be guaranteed game time but may prove to be a handy squad player.
Tiemoue Bakayoko – AC Milan
Now we’re sure some Chelsea fans must shiver at the thought, so bear with us.
The French midfielder endured a torrid debut season at Stamford Bridge last year and probably booked his flight to Milan personally.
Bakayoko suffered a similar start to life at the San Siro but has since turned it around and even earned praise from the his boss, Gennaro Gattuso, a famously hard man to please.
Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund
The American is more like a new signing to the Blues, rather than a returning figure.
His hefty £50million price tag will excite Chelsea fans but the forward is struggling to get a full game for Dortmund.
He has only started two out of the last 19 Bundesliga games with Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus pushing the 20-year-old down the pecking order.
Pulisic has only scored two goals in his fifteen League games, so may have to fight it out with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian and Pedro for the spots out wide.
Michy Batshuayi – Crystal Palace
Batshuayi has already immortalised himself with the Stamford Bridge faithful.
His scuffed finish against West Brom back in 2017 turned out to be the title-winning goal for the London side.
He has been passed around Europe since then with mediocre loan spells at Dortmund and Valencia before returning to London in January with Crystal Palace.
With Olivier Giroud apparently running out of patience at playing second fiddle and Gonzalo Higuain’s future far from certain, Batshuayi could be one of the main men for Chelsea.
The spaces up top are few and far between with Atletico Madrid having the option to buy Alvaro Morata in the summer – not that Chelsea fans will lose too much sleep over that.
Tammy Abraham – Aston Villa
Abraham has been waiting for his chance at Stamford Bridge for years now, having signed as a seven years old.
The 21-year-old has scored 44 goals in 72 Championship appearances for Aston Villa this year and Bristol City two seasons ago.
Sandwiched in between the two impressive campaigns was a slightly more sobering season with Swansea, scoring five goals in his 31 Premier League appearances.
He might fare slightly better with Jorginho and Pedro behind him as opposed to Leroy Fer and Sam Clucas…
So that is nearly every position potentially covered for Chelsea.
Baba Rahman, Victor Moses, Kenedy, Charly Musonda and Mason Mount just about missed out on this list, which highlights the depth of talent the blues have available.
Chelsea have never been a club associated with giving youth a chance – just ask Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi.
With the doors all but shut and locked in terms of players coming to Stamford Bridge, the internal recruitment process will already be underway.
Will any of these players come back to prove the club wrong?
READ MORE FROM DREAM TEAM HERE:
- Meet David Olaoye, the globetrotting Londoner preparing to play in a fifth country
- Man United confirm permanent appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- How Alen Halilovic went from the ‘Croatian Lionel Messi’ to European journeyman
WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE OF DREAM TEAM COACH NOW