5 Things Learned: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea | Pre-Season
Thomas Tuchel's side were victorious on the road as they beat Mikel Arteta's Arsenal in a pre-season friendly.
The Blues took the lead midway through the first half thanks to a quick breakaway, finished off by Kai Havertz.
In the second half, both teams made a lot of changes, but that didn't seem to die the game down. Arsenal equalised through Granit Xhaka.
However, Chelsea won the game late on thanks to a tidy finish from Tammy Abraham.
Here are five things we learned from Chelsea's win:
1) Kai Havertz starting as he means to go on
The pre-season friendly with Arsenal saw the return of Kai Havertz. Havertz struggled with COVID-19 last season but showed great potential towards the end of the season. After representing Germany at Euro 2020, Kai returned to training recently. The forward started in the friendly with Arsenal alongside Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Throughout the game, Kai was instrumental in Chelsea's attacking play and looked sharp every time he picked up the ball. His efforts were rewarded with a goal in the first half in what was a tidy finish. Kai will be eager to cement his place in the starting eleven this season.
2) A chance for returning players to get some minutes in
The likes of Mateo Kovacic, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz returned to training this week. After competing in the Euros, it was an opportunity for the returning players to get some minutes under their belts. With the Super Cup coming up, the likes of Werner, Havertz and Kovacic needed the game time to regain some match fitness and get back into shape. Their return has certainly pleased many Chelsea fans in what will be a big season coming up for Tuchel's men.
3) Do the Blues need to spend big money on a centre back?
As of right now, Chelsea currently has Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma in their ranks. With that being said, it looks as if Kurt Zouma could be on his way out of the club. The Blues have expressed their interest in Sevilla's Jules Kounde in the summer window. However, do the Blues really need to splash the cash on a big centre back? So far, both Dujon Sterling and Trevoh Chalobah have impressed Thomas Tuchel in pre-season. These players may not be big names, but they are an option going into the season. In the showdown with Arsenal, both Sterling and Chalobah were composed and reliable when called upon. Therefore, it may be worth taking a risk on both men going into the season.
4) Yet more action for Ruben Loftus-Cheek
With the recent departure of Billy Gilmour, there's a possibility that either Ross Barkley or Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be in the squad going into the season. Ruben has suffered from a lot of injuries over the last few years. Therefore, this summer has been a big couple of months for the England international. Thomas Tuchel has opened up about Loftus-Cheek claiming that he was impressed with the midfielder. Against Arsenal, Ruben looked sharp as he looks desperate to regain fitness and prove to the Blues fans that he has still got a lot to offer for the club.
5) The Blues are in desperate need of a striker
In the summer window so far, the Blues are yet to sign anyone. It is clear that Tuchel wants a world-class striker to help boost his side's chances of winning the league. With City expected to spend big and Manchester United already splashing the cash, it is vital that Chelsea follow their rivals in spending big. Erling Haaland has caught the eye of many in recent years. It is no secret that Chelsea are heavily after the forward. After watching the game against Arsenal, it is evident that a striker is needed. A player like Haaland will be the final piece of the puzzle for the club.