Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes Chelsea will not finish in the top four in the Premier League next season. He feels they will end up in fifth place, behind Arsenal and Spurs.
The Blues finished third last season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City and 18 behind Liverpool. They trumped their London rivals Tottenham, who finished fourth with three points and fifth-placed Arsenal by five.
However, O’Hara reckons they will finish outside the top four next season. While making his prediction for the Premier League’s top four on Football Daily, he said:
“I mean, Manchester City are going to run away with it this season, I think. Liverpool second. Spurs are going to finish third, and Arsenal are going to finish fourth. Chelsea are out of top four and going to finish fifth.”
While Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have all made signings this summer, the Blues, comparatively, haven’t made significant additions to their squad. They’ve only signed winger Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in the ongoing window.
However, Romelu Lukaku left and joined Inter Milan on loan, while Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left on free transfers. Timo Werner, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso want to leave this summer as well (via SPORTbible). That would weaken the team further, especially in defense, with Thiago Silva set to turn 38 in September.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have made five signings so far this summer and could make a few more in the coming weeks. They have snapped up Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have made six signings this summer – Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clement Lenglet (loan) and Djed Spence. Chelsea will need to strengthen their roster quickly to compete against their fellow London rivals.
Could Arsenal and Tottenham finish above Chelsea in Premier League next season?
As already mentioned, the Blues finished above Tottenham and Arsenal last season. However, going by the transfer business the three teams have conducted so far, Spurs and the Gunners are likely to usurp Chelsea next term.
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel recently admitted that they need more reinforcements this summer. After losing 4-0 against the Gunners in a pre-season friendly on July 23, Tuchel said:
“I am far from relaxed. We were simply not good enough. We were simply not competitive.
He later added:
I look at the last season and parts of the game where we struggled, parts of the season where we struggled, and then we got sanctioned, and players left us, and some players are trying to leave us, and this is where it is.”
“So we had an urgent appeal for quality players, a huge amount of quality players. We got two quality players, but we are not competitive like this. Unfortunately you could see it today.”
Chelsea begin their Premier League campaign away against Everton on August 6. Meanwhile, the Gunners face Crystal Palace away on August 5, while Spurs face Southampton on August 6 at home.