Football Manager 2020: Chelsea Team Guide, Player Ratings, & Tactics
Chelsea have a young & dynamic squad, but can you lead them back to the top of the league?
Chelsea have been up and down a lot of late. When you take over at the start of Football Manager 2020, the Blues have claimed two of the last five Premier League titles, but also finished as low as 10th.
You step into the managerial office needing to bring stability and domestic success back to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are the EURO Cup holders when you come in, but if you think winning that again will keep the fans and board happy then you have another thing coming.
How can you make the most out of your time as Chelsea boss? We have the answers
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club as laid out by the board that includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results.
Chelsea’s competition expectations are high. You are expected to hit a top-four finish in the Premier League while also reaching the quarter-final of the Champions League. These are the two required results, but the board also want to you reach the FA Cup final and maintain incredibly high standards within the youth team.
There are some strict financial and cultural demands too.
READ MORE: Football Manager 2020 Arsenal team guide
The five-year plan is to sign young players, work within your wage budget, but also to maintain self-sustainability and expand the stadium or build a new.
Culturally you have to sign players under the age of 22, play attacking and possession football, and develop players using the youth system.
That is a lot to take on board and try to work within!
Chelsea’s squad is in flux when you take over. There are some quality players around and also a lot of talented youngsters, but there is not much attacking prowess in the squad.
As a result, a more balanced tactical style would be suitable to start. Be it tiki-taka in with a balanced mentality or the fluid counter-attack will depend on the strength of your opponent. Both are strong options given the defensive quality on this team.
Chelsea’s depth across the midfield and central defence mean a number of formations are possible.
A 5-3-2 WB would allow you to create a stern defensive wall and would be good with the fluid counter-attack style, but if you want to be more forward-thinking and use tiki-taka then you can’t go wrong with the 4-1-4-1 DM Wide.
In this formation, Kepa Arrizabalaga will be between the sticks for you, with a back four of Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Emerson.
N’Golo Kante is the natural defensive midfielder behind a pivot of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
The front three has Willian on the right and Pedro on the left with Olivier Giroud up front.
There are plenty of options for your bench, but you should have Willy Caballero, Marcos Alonso, Kurt Zouma, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Tammy Abraham as your substitutes.
There are plenty of options across the team though, so be sure to rotate regularly.
While Chelsea’s squad isn’t likely to compete for the Premier League right away, there is plenty of talented players that you can build a strong unit around.
N’Golo Kante – CA 4 star (165), PA 4 star (165)
The World Cup winner N’Golo Kante has been a difference-maker for his team for a long time. He first came to prominence as part of Leicester City’s title-winning team and his arrival at Stamford Bridge meant another Premier League triumph for the Blues.
In Football Manager 2020 he is a dominant force. With 20 tackling, stamina, teamwork, and work rate is the epitome of a workhorse. Natural at both defensive and central midfield he will be in your team nearly every game.
Mateo Kovacic – CA 3.5 star (160), PA (172)
Another strong midfielder, Mateo Kovacic brings creativity to Chelsea’s midfield to complement Kante’s defensive abilities.
With 17 passing, 17 technique, and 16 vision he can move the ball at will, while 17 dribbling means he can take on defenders too.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – CA 3.5 star (158), PA 4 star (167)
Chelsea paid £71 million for Kepa in 2018 and were rewarded with a quality goalkeeper.
In Football Manager 2020 Kepa has 17 reflexes, 16 handling, and 16 communication which makes him a good shot-stopper and organiser of the defence.
Chelsea have a lot of very impressive youngsters. Their youth setup is one of the strongest in world football, and part of your responsibility is to develop these talented youngsters into first-team stars. These are the best players aged 20 or under on Chelsea when you take over.
Christian Pulisic – CA 3 star (147), PA 4.5 star (164)
Christian Pulisic arrived in the summer of 2019 from Borussia Dortmund. The 20-year-old American is highly talented and possesses great speed with 17 acceleration and 15 pace.
His 15 technique and 16 work rate bode well for his development, while 16 first touch and 15 dribbling makes him a threat on either flank.
Mason Mount – CA 3 star (142), PA 4.5 star (140-170)
Chelsea’s young English midfielder is seemingly their future star. He has become a key part of their team this season and will be a crucial attacking option for you almost immediately.
Mount brings 16 stamina, determination, and work rate to the team straight away, along with 15 technique and 14 passing and that nice PA range of 140-170.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – CA 2.5 star (140), PA 4.5 star (150-180)
Another young Englishman, Callum Hudson-Odoi would seem to have a glittering future ahead of him. Comfortable at any of the attacking midfield positions he is the perfect threat off the bench.
With 16 acceleration, 15 technique, and 15 dribbling he is already a threat despite being just 18. His PA range of 150-180 means he could soon become a true global star.
|Youth Prospects||Striker Depth|
|Wage Budget||Wing Back|
|Defender Depth||Overall Depth|
Team Leaders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Willian, Pedro
Highly Influential Players: Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham, Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley
Dynamics depict the dressing room atmosphere and hierarchy at your club. It is important to keep the team leaders and highly influential players happy. More playing time and big contracts to other players can see them leap up the tiers, so be sure to keep an eye on this tab so you understand how your team fits together.
You shouldn’t have a problem keeping your team leaders happy as they should be getting plenty of playing time at least in the first season.
The real struggle here will be as your young players rise up the ranks and disrupt the order at the top.
Starting transfer budget: £120 million
Remaining wage budget: £801,000 a week
Chelsea have a huge war chest to place at your disposal. The problem is that Chelsea have a transfer ban until February 2020 so you can’t sign anyone just yet. There is a chance that this ban will be lifted in time for the January window, so keep an eye out for that.
Once it is lifted though, who should you be going after?
Olivier Giroud is hardly a Premier League-winning striker, and while Tammy Abraham has a ton of potential that isn’t always going to come good.
As a result, the moment the transfer ban lifts you would be wise to go after a leading man that you can rely on for goals.
Paco Alcacer fits the bill perfectly. The 25-year-old Spaniard has amazing mental attributes like 18 off the ball and 17 anticipation and that all-important 17 finishing. He is an ideal forward for Chelsea, and even has 15 heading to round out his game.
|Erling Haaland||18||RB Salzburg||Norway||£11.75m||£16.5k|
Chelsea have a few leading players on the final year of their contracts. The first decision you have to make is about two of your team leaders, Willian & Pedro.
Chelsea have in-house replacements in Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic if you want to let them go, but retaining at least one would be smart.
READ MORE: How to sign an uninterested player in FM20
If you do buy another striker then you can let Olivier Giroud go at the end of the season, while the fate of Willy Caballero and Marco van Ginkel really depends on how you view your squad depth.
There isn’t a big decision to be made really until the 2022 contracts start to come up, as players like Cesar Azpilicueta and Tammy Abraham will be up for an extension.
Chelsea have some extremely healthy financial projections, but they do depend on you hitting your competitive targets.
The overall balance of the team is on a strong upward trend, even as expenditure is set to increase. You’ll have to be sure to keep the wage budget under control and not throw money away on the transfer market, but as long as you are qualifying for the Champions League Chelsea will be fine.
That £120 million transfer budget could well be the lowest war chest you have at the club.
Get back to the top
Chelsea were the first foreign money powerhouse in the Premier League, but they have been knocked off the top of the league in recent years but Man City and Liverpool.
The aim is to push your way back through the pack and claim another Premier League title. It won’t be easy as it is the most competitive elite league in the world, but it can be done.
If you nurture Chelsea’s young stars like Hudson-Odoi & Mount then Chelsea will be in an idea position to challenge every season for a long time to come. They also have the financial clout to pick off supreme talent when it comes available. Just remember that Chelsea have a very quick trigger finger, one rough patch and you could be out the door.
Full Chelsea Player Ratings
|Kepa Arrizabalaga||24||GK||SK||Defend||3.5 star||158/167|
|Cesar Azpilicueta||29||R (RLC) WB (RL)||FB||Attack||3.5 star||150/165|
|Antonio Rudiger||26||D (RC)||NNCB||Defend||3.5 star||156/163|
|Andreas Christensen||23||D (C) DM M (C)||BPD||Cover||3 star||147/165|
|Emerson||25||D (RL) WB (L)||CWB||Support||3 star||145/158|
|N’Golo Kante||28||DM M (C)||BBM||Support||4 star||165/165|
|Jorginho||27||DM M (C)||DLP||Defend||3.5 star||157/162|
|Mateo Kovacic||25||DM M (C) AM (C)||DLP||Support||3.5 star||160/172|
|Willian||30||M (RLC) AM (RLC)||W||Support||3.5 star||152/162|
|Pedro||31||AM (RLC)||IF||Attack||3.5 star||156/164|
|Olivier Giroud||32||ST||TM||Support||3 star||150/156|
|Willy Caballero||37||GK||SK||Support||2.5 star||140/151|
|Marcos Alonso||28||D (L) WB (L) M (L)||WB||Defend||3 star||145/151|
|Kurt Zouma||24||D (RC)||CD||Defend||3 star||144/160|
|Ross Barkley||25||M (C) AM (C)||AM||Support||3 star||147/159|
|Ruben Loftus-Cheek||23||M (C) AM (C)||DLP||Support||3 star||150/162|
|Callum Hudson-Odoi||18||AM (RLC)||IW||Support||2.5 star||140/150-180|
|Tammy Abraham||21||ST||AF||Attack||3 star||143/160|
|Fikayo Tomori||21||D (RC) WB (R)||BPD||Defend||3 star||139/162|
|Marco van Ginkel||26||M (C) AM (C)||DLP||Support||3 star||142/149|
|Reece James||19||D (R) WB (R) M (C)||FB||Attack||2.5 star||136/140-170|
|Mason Mount||20||M (C) AM (LC)||Mezzala||Support||3 star||142/140-170|
|Christian Pulisic||20||M (RL) AM (RLC)||IW||Attack||3 star||147/164|
|Michy Batshuayi||25||ST||CF||Attack||3 star||144/160|