The Blues have been left short of attacking options due to an injury for Armando Broja but may already have an answer within the squad

Chelsea could soon be welcoming another new face into their first team set-up as Graham Potter’s squad revamp speeds up heading into January. As much as the Blues are already dealing with an unpredictable influx of returning World Cup stars, injuries and possible transfers mean there is a constant fluidity to the make-up of the team.

With just Croatia’s Mateo Kovacic and Morocco forward Hakim Ziyech left in Qatar Potter’s squad will slowly be taking shape ahead of domestic action kicking off once more in just under two weeks. The Blues‘ preparation ahead of that match hasn’t been ideal though, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek unable to train properly due to injury and other players remaining out of action.

Plus, Armando Broja’s first half injury against Aston Villa in the 1-0 friendly loss leaves Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the only two strikers in the squad, and Havertz’s best position is still relatively unclear.

For Potter this creates an issue that isn’t easily solved in the transfer window either, but the answer may well already be right in front of him. Amongst the top performers against Villa on Sunday was 19-year-old Omari Hutchinson, and Potter has praised the new starlet for his contribution.

Speaking after the match, the 47-year-old said, “[He was] really good, really good. “[He was] dangerous, asked the questions all the time, I think he hit the bar in the first half, but throughout the game he showed his quality.

“He wasn’t the only one, it was a spirited performance against an experienced Premier League side so it was good.”

Chelsea fell to defeat against Unai Emery’s team but did field six Cobham graduates, as well as Hutchinson, who joined in the summer from Arsenal.

He is yet to get he first team debut yet but has spent time around the squad before and since the domestic break with his appearance on the bench against Brighton in October and for the Carabao Cup trip to Manchester City exciting those who keenly await his introduction into proceedings.

It may have been alarming for some that the academy players were the most settled and fluid, whilst regular senior players looked short of fitness and confidence. Hutchinson has already blurred the lines between the two, and is certainly amongst the options to replace Broja.

The 21-year-old Albanian has played 18 times this season but mostly coming from the bench, and has scored one goal. As third choice striker, replacing him with Hutchinson would work, and would also follow in the footsteps of Lewis Hall. The teenager has made his debut, unlike Hutchinson, and is now an established first team squad player.

Hall played his first game under Thomas Tuchel last season but has come into recognition already under Potter for his impressive Under-21 performances. Hall played in midfield on Sunday and spends most of his time there for the academy, but impressed as a left wing-back in two matches against City and Newcastle last month.

He is now a back-up option for Marc Cucurella due to Ben Chilwell’s injury and Potter could follow suit with Hutchinson being the replacement attacker for Broja. Although not a natural striker, Hutchinson is flexible and can play across the front line.

Chelsea could use their developing injury crisis to mount a significant offensive on the January transfer market.

Armando Broja recently added his name to the Blues’ long treatment list with Youssoufa Moukoko already identified as a potential replacement at Stamford Bridge.

A new forward may well be Graham Potter’s biggest target with Joao Felix another key name touted to be on the move when the transfer window opens.

However, Chelsea must watch out for incoming bids too as Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante attract admirers.

Here is your latest update of Chelsea transfer news and rumours…

Joao Felix

Chelsea have joined Arsenal, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in taking a look at Felix.

The Portuguese striker appears to be up for grabs after so far failing to reach his potential and falling out with Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, who want over £100million for a January sale according to 90min.

It is reported that Chelsea, among others, have decided that a loan deal is more suitable – but Atleti want to hold out for a big permanent transfer fee.

Juventus have emerged as contenders to sign academy product Mount, according to reports in Italy.

The Blues midfielder’s contract expires in 18 months and talks over an extension have been shelved due to the World Cup.

CalcioMercatoWeb claim Juve are so keen on signing Mount, they would let Leandro Paredes, Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie go to make room in their budget.

Chelsea are one of several European giants tracking Borussia Dortmund striker Moukoko.

Having made his World Cup debut last month, the 18-year-old has a huge bullseye on his back in the transfer market given his contract is up in the summer.

Dortmund are frantically trying to tie him down but Standard Sport’s Nizaar Kinsella details how Broja’s injury could force Chelsea into action, with the ability to sign a pre-contract agreement in the New Year.

Cristiano Ronaldo has posted a cryptic message to his Instagram story amid his hunt for a new club. The 37-year-old striker was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea ahead of the World Cup after he and Manchester United parted company.

As the five-time Ballon d’Or winner set his sights on international glory with Portugal, talk of a move to Stamford Bridge quietened down. But, after Ronaldo’s side were knocked out of the tournament by Morocco in the quarter-final, speculation regarding his future has burst back into life.

It’s said that the Portuguese star has received offers from the Middle East and Australia but he’s holding out for a Champions League side. Ronaldo was reportedly earning around £500,000-per-week at Old Trafford but, as it stands, he’ll have to heavily reduce his wage demands if he wants to stay in Europe.

With a decision on his future yet to be made, Ronaldo has taken to social media. Igniting fresh speculation, he mysterious posted an image to his Instagram story which reads: “3 aspects of reality. Pain, uncertainty and constant work.”

According to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, Thomas Tuchel was a primary ‘roadblock’ in negotiations when Boehly tried to sign Ronaldo in the summer. It remains to be seen whether Potter is interested in signing the striker and the reigning Blues boss has kept his cards close to his chest.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s home clash with AC Milan in the Champions League, when links with Ronaldo first began to emerge, he said: “We can spend all day with these questions, but I’m not going to speak about this. If they are not our players, I am not going to speak to them.”

Despite this, the Mirror reported last month that the west Londoners will pursue Ronaldo’s signature if United were to follow through and cut ties with the veteran striker. United have, of course, since parted ways with Ronaldo and an approach from Chelsea remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, Emmanuel Petit has urged clubs to steer clear of signing Ronaldo. Speaking to Compare.Bet, the former Blues and Gunners star insisted that the striker’s next club could fall ‘victim’ to his antics.

“For me, can Ronaldo fix Chelsea’s problems? I would say no,” Petit said. “I think they have enough problems on the pitch and in the dressing room for Graham Potter to add more.

“I think this is new for Potter, big players, big egos. If you add one of the biggest egos in football history in Cristiano Ronaldo… Well, you’re going to have to say something to [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang as well, to other players.

“For me, there is no chance Cristiano Ronaldo will join Chelsea. Do you think Arsenal, Chelsea, big clubs like this, could be interested in taking Cristiano? They will think twice when realising what’s happened in the last couple of months between Manchester United and Ronaldo.

“Do you think a club will take the risk of becoming the next victim? No, I don’t think so. With all the good work [Mikel] Arteta and Edu have done over the last two or three years in the transfer market, with their transfer policy…

“Do you think he would take the risk, for one second, to put Cristiano Ronaldo into this dressing room, where the relationship with the players is beautiful? No, there’s no chance of it.”

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