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?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant
Chelsea team guide for Football Manager 2020

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

Club vision

Chelsea's board have a lot of tasks for you in FM20
HIGH HOPES: There is a lot of work to do

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!

Tactical style

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.

Formation

The ideal formation for Chelsea in FM20
IDEAL: You can’t go wrong with this formation

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.

READ MORE: Wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is a must-buy for any club

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.

Key players

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)

N'Golo Kante's FM20 stats page
BRICK WALL: There’s no getting past Kante

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.

READ MORE: All the best left midfielders (ML & AML) to sign in FM20

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)

Mateo Kovacic's FM20 stats page
CREATIVE MAESTRO: Kovacic will be your attacking master

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)

Kepa Arrizabalaga's FM20 stats page
GLOVE MAN: Kepa is brilliant between the sticks

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.

Young talent

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's FM20 stats page
STAR MAN: Pulisic will be an icon before you know it

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.

READ MORE: All the best right backs (DR & WBR) to sign in FM20

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)

Mason Mount's FM20 stats page
CREATIVE FORCE: Mount is already a strong player

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)

Callum Hudson-Odoi's FM20 stats page
FUTURE STAR: Hudson-Odoi is another star winger in the making

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.

Team report

Strengths Weaknesses
Youth Prospects Striker Depth
Wage Budget Wing Back
Long Shots Marking
Defender Depth Overall Depth
Defensive Midfielders  
Goalkeeper  

Squad dynamics

Chelsea's squad dynamics in Football Manager 2020

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.

READ MORE: The best young goalkeepers (GK) to sign in FM20

The real struggle here will be as your young players rise up the ranks and disrupt the order at the top.

Transfer Market

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?

Deadly striker

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.

IDEAL FIT: Paco Alcacer is a strong option for a new striker

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.

Alternative options

Player Age Club Country CA/PA Value Wage
Arkadiusz Milik 25 Napoli Poland   £35.5m £77k
Krzysztof Piatek 23 Milan Poland   £30.5m £55k
Andrea Belotti 25 Torino Italy   £30.5m £52k
Patrick Cutrone 21 Wolves Italy   £25m £60k
Erling Haaland 18 RB Salzburg Norway   £11.75m £16.5k

Contracts

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.

Finances

Chelsea have strong finances in Football Manager 2020
POWERHOUSE: Chelsea’s financial future is very strong

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.

READ MORE: All the best young defensive midfielders (DM) to sign in FM20

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

Player Age Pos Role Duty Role Ability CA/PA
Starting lineup            
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
Substitutes            
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
Reserves            
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

Toby Durant

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