Chelsea 2021/22 season review: Best signing, biggest flop & more25 May 2022
Chelsea’s season came to a stuttering and disappointing end with a scrappy 2-1 win over Watford, with on and off the pitch issues contributing to a thoroughly underwhelming campaign.
Despite this, there were still plenty of positives to take, and 101 takes a look at some of them, as well as some of the less positive moments, in our end of season round-up for the Blues.
Player of the season: Mason Mount
For the second season in a row, the award has to go to Chelsea’s own Mason Mount. The midfielder dropped off from his heights of last season, but still came up with 11 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League, as well as a goal and three assists in six FA Cup outings.
Mason Mount is the first Chelsea player since Eden Hazard to win back-to-back Player of the Season awards…
Incredible achievement. 👏 pic.twitter.com/Yq3TjxM4H5
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) May 22, 2022
And, in a disappointing season for the Blues, the midfielder stood above the rest.
Young player of the season: Reece James
At 22 years old, Reece James is already arguably the best right-back in the Premier League, even if he was in and out of the Chelsea side through injury.
Most goals and assists by defenders in the Premier League 2021-22:
🔴 Trent Alexander-Arnold: 14
🔵 Reece James: 14 pic.twitter.com/n0niHDYCrO
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 24, 2022
A key contributor to Tuchel’s back-five, James was tried both as a wing-back and as a right centre-back and perhaps his importance was underlined most by his absence. The Londoners looked toothless and struggled in all phases with James unavailable through injury.
Goal of the season: Mateo Kovacic vs Liverpool
Antonio Rudiger’s thunderbolt against Brentford was a very close second for this award, but there has always been a certain beauty to a well-struck volley, and Mateo Kovacic’s effort against Liverpool was no different.
With the Blues 2-0 down and heading into a tricky halftime team talk, a corner broke to the Croatian midfielder on the edge of the box, before he sent it back with interest, flying past Alisson and halving the deficit.
The response was instant, too, with Christian Puliisic levelling the game in first-half stoppage time. It was Kova’s gorgeous strike that got the ball rolling, though.
My favourite Mateo Kovacic goal this season. pic.twitter.com/DvUCepLvQg
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) May 6, 2022
Signing of the season: N/A
Chelsea only brought in one player in the summer and, as will be seen below, he was far from impressive.
Flop of the season: Romelu Lukaku
Where to begin with this signing? Brought in for big money, Lukaku’s homecoming quickly soured after an interview given to Italian media, before a goal drought and a period in the cold followed.
All told, the Belgian managed just 14 goals, 8 of those coming in the Premier League. It was well below what Chelsea thought that they were buying in July.
Did Chelsea meet expectations?
In short, no. Chelsea were expected to challenge for the Premier League title but ended the season a distant third, 19 points behind the eventual winners. Two cup final defeats on penalties will do nothing to ease the pain, especially when both went Liverpool’s way.
They won two trophies, in the form of the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup, but that will come as little consolation.
Issues on and off the pitch have made it a season that will live long in the memory of Blues fans, but that they would rather forget.
Where do Chelsea need to strengthen?
The defence is the biggest issue, with both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving for free and question marks over Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso beyond this summer.
Additionally, Chelsea may need a midfield addition depending on the future of Jorginho, and would surely like to refresh their forward line for a third consecutive summer should they be able to arrange departures.
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