The summer version of this essay was written in August.
Imagining a scenario in which Achraf Hakimi joined Chelsea instead of PSG, and the consequences that would have. Declan Rice was finally signed for a huge amount from West Ham, and Hakim Ziyech was loaned to AC Milan.
It’s time for the January version to arrange an alternate narrative for Thomas Tuchel in a month that appears to be closing with minimal drama for Chelsea five months later.
Former Everton full-back Lucas Digne was linked with the Blues, but nothing came of it. Instead, he signed with Aston Villa.
Chelsea then tried to pay Lyon to recall Emerson Palmieri as an emergency backup after Ben Chilwell’s injury, but their efforts were in vain, and it currently appears that the deadline will pass with no substantial transfers.
It’s the same with peripheral first-team players who have been linked with January moves for months only to have their reported interest dwindle again.
Of course, things could change radically on the final day, but I’m convinced that my alternate window will be far more exciting.
Lucas Digne signs a contract
The club’s slowness in offering a fresh left-back option has sparked a lot of anger on social media, especially after Digne was connected with a move to Stamford Bridge at the end of December.
So, instead of Villa Park, Digne joins Stamford Bridge for a fee of £25 million. Is this a sign that Digne will be loaned out in three years if Marina Granovskaia is unable to sell him for £10 million? Tuchel has been ‘supported,’ so I suppose it’s a risk worth taking.
Chelsea appeared to be on the verge of signing Jules Kounde last summer, and the six-month gap has definitely not dampened the Blues’ interest in the Sevilla defender.
Sevilla agree to a loan for the second half of the season before Kounde joins his new team in July, even if Marina are unable to transfer the centre-back to London this season.
It’s a proactive move that anticipates for next season and minimizes the worry about the defensive contract dispute, comparable to the transaction made for Christian Pulisic in January 2019.
Frank is joined by Ruben.
Given the rumored impending arrival of Frank Lampard at Goodison Park, this is a relatively new addition.
It has yet to be verified at the time of writing, but in this timeline, we’ll assume Lampard is named Everton manager and immediately turns his focus to his previous team.