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Italian Youngster Instead of Gallagher and a New Goalkeeper: How Will Chelsea Change Under Enzo Maresca?

Formation and Principles

Maresca implements a complex attacking style of football similar to Pep Guardiola’s. One of the full-backs always plays in the holding midfield position, while the number eights move higher up the pitch. This creates a formation between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1, transitioning to Guardiola's 3-2-4-1 in attack.


Chelsea has several problematic positions:

  1. There is a lack of a clear first-choice goalkeeper, although there are candidates to fill this role. Maresca has worked with ambitious goalkeepers like James Trafford and Mads Hermansen, and rumors link Giorgi Mamardashvili and Filip Jorgensen to Stamford Bridge.
  2. Injuries to Wesley Fofana and Benoît Badiashile and Thiago Silva's departure have left a gap in the center of defense that Tosin Adarabioyo is expected to fill.
  3. The issue with the number nine position remains unresolved.


Maresca assigns complex, unconventional roles to full-backs. Therefore, the versatile Marc Cucurella will attempt to find his place on the left under his fifth manager. At the same time, Axel Disasi may secure the right-back position instead of the traditional winger Malo Gusto. In the center, Cesare Casadei, a key player for Maresca at Leicester, will have his chances, allowing Boehly to finally part ways with Conor Gallagher. In attack, the adaptation of Christopher Nkunku is anticipated.


Maresca has worked with academy talents like Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia at City, so the Englishman is expected to establish himself as a winger. At the same time, the Belgian will make his mark. Regarding Chelsea’s homegrown players, Boehly will likely put them up for sale, including Ian Maatsen, Omari Hutchinson, and Trevoh Chalobah. Chelsea also has a young goalkeeping lineup: Gabriel Slonina is already showing great potential at 20 but lacks a spot, and Djordje Petrovic would benefit from a loan to develop his skills further.

Published by Patrick Jane