Micah Richards makes bold Chelsea prediction for next season but Carragher tears it to shreds and Keane looks seething | The Sun

Micah Richards makes bold Chelsea prediction for next season but Carragher tears it to shreds and Keane looks seething | The Sun

May 29, 2023

FORMER Manchester City star Micah Richards believes Chelsea will challenge for a place in the top four next season.

The Blues finished the 2022-23 campaign in the bottom half of the Premier League table for the first time since 1996, despite spending almost £600million on 16 new players over the past year.

However, Richards is convinced that they will bounce back next season under the management of Mauricio Pochettino.

When speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports, the ex-England defender said: "I think Chelsea are going to be really good next season under Poch. Top four, challenging maybe a little bit more.

"The players that they’ve got, Christopher Nkunku coming in. They need a striker, they’ll get that sorted, but I think Chelsea will be challenging big next season."

Richards then went on to highlight the importance of Reece James' likely return to full fitness as well as the impact that Wesley Fofana could have.

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However, his comment on the Frenchman did not go down well with fellow pundit Roy Keane.

The former Manchester United star claimed: "Who?! He’s been dreadful, he’s been dreadful!"

Jamie Carragher was quick to agree and highlight the flaws in Chelsea's recruitment process.

He added: "I know they've spent a lot of money, but who are these players?

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"I think [Enzo] Fernandez has got great pedigree. The goalkeeper is a problem, they’ve got no striker, [Nkunku] might come in and make a difference, Mykhailo Mudryk has obviously come in for a lot of money, he’s got pedigree but…"

Many fans on social media appeared to agree with Carragher and Keane.

One person tweeted: "Most of the players they have are bang average."

Another added: "Carra is right. Reece James is always injured now, can’t rely on him for a full season. To me Chilwell and James can only play for a few months then they’ll miss majority of the season through injuries."

A third wrote: "12th to top four?? Their issues are too big, Poch is a top coach, but it will take time getting to know some of these guys and all that. Best Chelsea can do next year is 6th."

While a fourth joked: "Yeah top four of the relegation zone."

Chelsea are expected to announce Pochettino as the club's new first team manager in the next few weeks.

The former Tottenham manager has already signed a three-year contract with the Blues, but he will not be able to start work until July 1.

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