The summer of 2024 has long been seen as the last in a four-window plan from Chelsea’s new ownership group, so there is immense pressure to find the missing pieces for a squad which continues to struggle.

The Blues have now had as many permanent managers (four) as the number of transfer windows under the new owners. Enzo Maresca is the latest to take to the dugout, bringing a unique style of play which could require a little more tinkering in the transfer market.

With Euro 2024 giving scouts the chance to check out a number of intriguing options, here are five players Chelsea should be keeping a very close eye on.

Marcin BulkaMarcin Bulka

Bulka will hope to make an impact with Poland / Franco Arland/GettyImages

Country: Poland
Club: Nice

Maresca puts massive focus on the ball-playing abilities of his goalkeeper, which likely means a return to the starting lineup for Spaniard Robert Sanchez.

Sanchez, however, has failed to fully impress when it comes to using his hands, and so somebody like Nice goalkeeper Marcin Bulka could very easily play his way on to the radar.

Many at Chelsea will already be very familiar with the 24-year-old, who spend three years in the Blues’ academy before his departure to PSG in 2019.

Riccardo CalafioriRiccardo Calafiori

Calafiori caught the eye with Bologna / Ciancaphoto Studio/GettyImages

Country: Italy
Position: Centre-back

Maresca loves an inverted full-back. On the left, Ben Chilwell does not seem suited for this role and questions remain over Marc Cucurella despite his late-season resurgence.

With Levi Colwill determined to return to a typical centre-back role this season, Chelsea may need to dip their toes into the market once again and should use this chance to observe Italian centre-back Riccardo Calafiori, who just played a crucial role in Bologna’s stellar campaign.

A natural left-footer, Calafiori spends most of his time in a central role but is comfortable out wide and could take on a unique role under Maresca.

Georgiy SudakovGeorgiy Sudakov

Sudakov hopes to follow Mudryk to the Premier League / Mateusz Slodkowski/GettyImages

Country: Ukraine
Position: Centre-midfield

As Chelsea know all too well, there aren’t many opportunities to observe players from the Ukrainian league competing at a high level.

Midfielder Georgiy Sudakov, a former teammate of Blues winger Mykhailo Mudryk, is being valued at well over £60m, but the 21-year-old needs to prove himself on a stage like this before clubs should be taking that sort of asking price seriously.

Chelsea have already been burned by Mudryk’s price tag. They simply cannot afford to get duped again.

Lois OpendaLois Openda

Openda has scored goals for fun recently / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Country: Belgium
Position: Striker

Chelsea will hope that Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku scores plenty of goals and attracts significant interest this summer, but scouts should also be keeping an eye out on Lois Openda alongside him.

In the last three seasons, Opena has scored 18 goals for Vitesse in the Dutch league, 21 in Ligue 1 with Lens and, most recently, 24 for Bundesliga heavyweights RB Leipzig. This is a versatile striker who, regardless of where he plays, seems unable to stop scoring goals.

Still only 24, there’s reason to suggest Openda’s best years are still ahead of him, which should fascinate those in charge of Chelsea’s recruitment.

Joshua ZirkzeeJoshua Zirkzee

Zirkzee is expected to leave Bologna / Ivan Romano/GettyImages

Country: Netherlands
Position: Striker

Joshua Zirkzee cut short his Disney holiday to link up with the Dutch national team after being drafted into Ronald Koeman’s squad late on, which will delight scouts across Europe.

23-year-old Zirkzee just enjoyed an excellent season alongside Calafiori at Bologna, with his return of 11 goals not exactly telling the story of his impact in Serie A.

A £34m release clause is expected to be triggered by AC Milan, but Chelsea could easily be tempted to lodge a rival bid if Zirzkee makes enough of an impact this summer.


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