Why Chelsea’s full back setup tonight gives a big clue about summer transfer plans

Chelsea’s good run of form has meant that Mauricio Pochettino is reluctant to change things up too much in his starting XI.

After making zero changes between the wins over West Ham and Nottingham Forest, Pochettino makes just one tonight – bringing in Malo Gusto for Thiago Silva. Trevoh Chalobah slides into the centre from the right, allowing Gusto to play in his favoured role there.

The Frenchman obviously offer a lot more going forward than Chalobah, who does a job defensively but is ultimately a centre back out of position who isn’t going to bomb forward in the same way. This creates some interesting questions about Marc Cucurella’s role on the other side.

Marc Cucurella signals to a teammate.

Another tweak to the formula

The recent tactical innovation that seems to have sparked this good run of form was Pochettino’s decision to get Cucurella to move into midfield when Chelsea have the ball. Instead of staying wide like a traditional full back, he plays in midfield. The two central defenders were then joined by Chalobah as a three, which suited his preferences as outlined about.

Gusto’s inclusion raises questions about that. Will Gusto tuck in in the same way that Chalobah does? It would seem a waste of his offensive talents. Or does Gusto keep the license to attack, while Cucurella is told to make the three from the left hand side, in much the same way that Chalobah would have done from the right?

Well, the game is about to kick off, so we will soon find out. These kind of questions may seem trivial, but with a huge summer coming up, it will likely have big knock on effects on what the plan for our transfer strategy is this summer and beyond. Cucurella’s future remains very uncertain, and tonight is particularly important for him.

Tags Malo Gusto Marc Cucurella

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