The 2015-2016 season did not go as planned for Chelsea FC. While the Blues failed to bring in talent that would bolster the squad in the offseason, they were more notably let down by the incumbent title winners within their squad.
Most of their top players struggled for large portions of the season, some rediscovering something resembling form towards the end of the campaign and others still searching for their title-winning talent from a year ago.
Chelsea need to hit the ground running next season if they are to avenge their performances from the campaign prior. Preseason matches are a strong way to get in a rhythm, as we saw with Chelsea’s poor season following a win total of zero in the preseason.
However, a far better way to gain momentum is a strong performance at a summer international tournament. It can put players in a shop window, or just rev their engines for the beginning of the club season. We’ve seen it before with so many players and it could be just what this Chelsea squad need.
Therefore, let’s take a look at the 5 players that must have a strong Euro 2016. If you fancy something a little different than the usual online betting, why not try this guide to Fortune Temple slot.
Thibaut Courtois: Belgium
The Chelsea shot stopper endured a rough 2015-2016 campaign. The Belgian received a red card on the first match day against Swansea City. He then went on to suffer a knee injury that kept him out of the squad until December.
Since returning from his injury, the Belgian has failed to play at the level that saw the Blues clinch the 2014-2015 Premier League title. He wasn’t poor, but he was far from his best.
Granted, he didn’t have the defense in front of him, but he’s still supposed to be world class and he failed to live up to the billing this season.
With Belgium, he has a side that’s widely considered a dark horse to win the tournament. They are a team made up of top playmakers.
At the back, it’ll be interesting to see how solid they are, given they’re missing Vincent Kompany.
That being said, if Belgium check the boxes that we know they can, we could see Courtois hoisting the Euro trophy on July 10.
If he does, it’ll benefit the young shot stopper. With him back to firing on all cylinders, Conte’s job of revitalizing Chelsea will be one step easier.
Thibaut Courtois’s fellow countryman is another man who can stand to have a strong Euro 2016 performance. The 25-year-old had a poor season at Chelsea, failing to follow up his title-winning season the year prior.
With papers linking him to every team in Europe, the attacker has tried to calm the rumors, pledging his short-term future to Chelsea. He will be key to the Blues’ attack next season.
The Belgian seemed to rediscover his old self toward the end of this season, particularly in his performances against Tottenham and Liverpool. It was a sign of life from the former PFA Player of the Year.
To build on the end of his season, he needs to continue his dominance on the International level. With the 25-year-old captaining the side, the young Belgian squad has a chance to make a deep run into the tournament.
If Hazard can continue to play the way he did in the latter stages of the Premier League this season, it will be majorly beneficial for both Belgium and Chelsea.
The Spaniard has had somewhat of a mixed time in a Chelsea jersey. On his day, he’s one of the top 2 players in the squad. His ability to control the game from deep in the midfield makes him an irreplaceable member of the Blues first team.
The problem with the Fabregas is that he plays in front of the defense, yet he can’t defend. When he plays alongside a weak defensive midfielder, he is called into defend far more often then he should. The result isn’t pretty.
When he plays next to someone who can shield the defense, perhaps an in-form Nemanja Matic or even to a lesser extent John Obi Mikel, he can prosper.
In Spain, he’ll likely play higher up the field. His performance will be integral to the squad’s success. If he is able to be an important player for his country, the smart money would be on him starting the season strong for Chelsea.
Pedro is another Spaniard who needs a strong Euro 2016. The Spanish squad has several Spanish players among their ranks, though Pedro is one of the more senior members.
He will be there to set the tone for the younger players, those who know little about the expectation of pulling on the red and yellow jersey. He’ll also be expected to produce, given that his place in the starting XI is by no means guaranteed.
Furthermore, his first season in England didn’t go as he would’ve hoped. The Spaniard failed to fully adjust to the Premier League, showing that the time it takes to adapt is longer than Chelsea would’ve liked.
The problem is that he was brought in with far too much expectation on his shoulders. He was the savior that Chelsea needed and the one that didn’t live up to the billing.
Yet, it’s easy to forget that on Barcelona, he was a role player and he needs to have the same place in the Blues squad. He was never going to be the star and we shouldn’t expect him to.
That being said, he does need to raise his level of play if he is to keep his place in the Blues squad. He’ll be given another year to prove himself and he has to show that the learning curve is not too steep.
A strong Euro 2016 performance will be exactly what the Spaniard needs to spearhead his start to the Premier League season.
And finally, the Englishman needs the Euro 2016 to save his Chelsea career. Cahill was marginalized this season, showing that a large part of the prior season’s success was attributed to his partnership with John Terry.
Cahill has never been a leading man, yet he finds success in linking up with his fellow defenders. However, this season, he lost his place for several matches, with Kurt Zouma showing himself to be the better choice.
The drop in form that Cahill suffered was mirrored in Terry’s form as well. The two are aging and it’s having negative effects on both of their playing careers.
However, while Terry is certainly entering the twilight of his career, Cahill could have 4 to 5 more seasons of top-level football, if he plays his cards correctly.
That being said, how many of those years that are played in West London is firmly in the Englishman’s hands. A strong showing at the summer tournament may prove to Antonio Conte that Cahill is up to the level required to get Chelsea back to the top of the league. A poor performance could spell the end of his Chelsea career, despite recently agreeing to a new contract with the club.
This summer, the Blues will surely dip into the transfer market for defenders. How many they purchase will be based off of several factors, including Cahill’s performance at the Euros this summer.
Overall, Antonio Conte will have a lot to do in order to restore where they belong at the top of the league. That being said, the pressure is on for certain players to perform. The Euros have become somewhat of an audition for this group of players.
Their club situation will likely be affected based on their performances at the Euro 2016. All five are more than capable of rising to the occasion. But with Chelsea’s new manager also partaking in the competition, it’ll be interesting to see how many Blues sink or swim this summer.