Premier League • England

Five players Graham Potter could try and sign for Chelsea in the January transfer window: Caicedo, Nkunku…

Moises Caicedo Brighton August 2022

After becoming Chelsea’s manager, Graham Potter will now be looking to make some improvements to their squad.

Potter made some brilliant signings during his time in charge of Brighton and will be hoping to replicate that success at Stamford Bridge.

According to reports, Todd Boehly is set to back the manager with transfer funds in January as Chelsea look to turn their season around.

Here, TEAMtalk has taken a look at five players that Potter could look to sign during the January transfer window.

Josko Gvardiol

Despite signing both Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana in the summer, Thomas Tuchel also tried to buy Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.

The 20-year-old, who is regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe, was reportedly the subject of a £77.4million bid from Chelsea. 

But RB Leipzig rejected the offer and Gvardiol signed a contract extension on deadline day which ended Chelsea’s summer pursuit of the Croatia international.

“At the club, they asked me about Josko, I told them all the best,” Mateo Kovacic said after the window shut. “I don’t need to say anything about his football, they know what kind of player he is, and his character is excellent.

“I have seen in the national team how eager he is to play. He has a great career ahead of him, and I hope that one day we will play together in the club.”

According to Bild, Kovacic may get his wish sooner rather than later as Potter will reignite Chelsea’s interest in the centre-back during the January transfer window.

While a new centre-half might not seem like a necessity, Thiago Silva will be out of contract at the end of the season. The Blues have also struggled defensively this season, conceding nine goals in six Premier League games.

Douglas Luiz

Chelsea’s midfield is definitely an area that Potter will be looking to improve in the upcoming transfer windows.

Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante have both been struggling with injury problems and Jorginho has been linked with a free transfer to Barcelona. Jorginho and Kante are both in the final year of their respective deals at Stamford Bridge.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has struggled with a lack of consistency and Conor Gallagher is yet to replicate the form he showed during his loan spell at Crystal Palace.

Potter needs to bring in someone new to strengthen the side in the middle of the park and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz should be near the top of his wishlist.

The Brazil international, who was linked with Arsenal and Liverpool in the summer window, has established himself as one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League in recent seasons.

He also has less than a year left on his current contract and will be available at a cut-price deal in January as Villa look to avoid losing him on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Douglas Luiz Aston Villa August 2022

Moises Caicedo

Having worked with Caicedo at Brighton, Potter knows how talented the midfielder is and could bring him to Stamford Bridge.

The Ecuador international, who joined Brighton from Independiente del Valle in January 2021, has already made a big impact in the Premier League.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool were all linked with Caicedo during the summer transfer window but Potter’s arrival could give the Blues a big advantage ahead of the January transfer window.

“It made me very sad now that he [Potter] left for Chelsea, because he helped me a lot and I wanted to continue having him as a manager, but that’s football,” he told Argentine outlet Ole.

“You never know: today you can be here and tomorrow somewhere else, that’s the job of a footballer and a coach. At Brighton he worked very well and people love him very much. I’m very happy for him and for the great opportunity that was presented to him.”

He added: “Right now I’m very focused on Brighton and the World Cup. I want to have a great World Cup and then we’ll see what happens.

“I think they (Chelsea) are one of the best teams in the world and nobody would turn down an offer from Chelsea or any other club like that. It’d be a dream to be in the best teams in the world and succeed there.”

Christopher Nkunku

During his time in charge of Brighton, Potter mainly deployed the 3-5-2 formation and looks set to use a similar system at Chelsea.

The likes of Kai Havertz, Armando Broja and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can all play in a front two but Potter might want to bolster his attacking options in January.

RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku is currently among the most sought-after forwards in Europe and would be a brilliant signing for Chelsea.

The France international won the Bundesliga Player of the Season award in 2021/22 after registering 20 goals and 15 assists in 34 appearances. He also scored seven Champions League goals, including a hat-trick against Manchester City at the Etihad.

Nkunku, who mainly plays as a second striker, has maintained that impressive form with seven direct goal contributions in 11 appearances in 2022/23.

While the £51.6million release clause in his RB Leipzig contract only becomes active next summer, Chelsea could win the race for his signature by making an offer in the January window. 

Ivan Toney

Tuchel reportedly saw Aubameyang as a short-term solution to Chelsea’s attacking problems but Potter might want a different type of No.9.

While the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Victor Osimhen won’t be available in January, Brentford’s Ivan Toney would represent a shrewd signing for the Blues.

The 26-year-old outscored all of Chelsea’s players in the Premier League last season and has enjoyed a brilliant start to 2022/23, scoring five goals and registering two assists in his first seven league games.

“He would have been a perfect fit for (Manchester) United in terms of what they currently need up front, as well as Arsenal until Gabriel Jesus redefined that role for them,” Troy Deeney told The Sun.

“If he has the year he will likely have, even Chelsea will be keeping an eye on him. He could go there long-term and be a real success under Graham Potter.

“You look at the certain type of striker nowadays, your Darwin Nunez or Erling Haaland who are 6ft-plus and are mobile and can score all different types of goals, you have to put Ivan in that category.”

READ MORE: Six players who could benefit from the arrival of Graham Potter at Chelsea: Pulisic, Cucurella…