Chelsea will be competitive this season.
With that said, if it wants to win trophies, it will need certain players to play well. Obviously, the team needs to mesh well. However, certain players are indeed more important than others.
As the Premier League season inches closer, it's time to think about who the Blues need to step up to win a title. Accordingly, this article ranks the six most important players to Chelsea's success this year.
Every good team has a few great position players. Every great team has a great goalkeeper.
Petr Cech has been nothing short of spectacular since coming to Chelsea in 2004. He has more than 250 league appearances, with more than 100 additional caps in other competitions. In the Champions League final, he came up huge, helping Chelsea to victory.
With as shaky as the defense could be this year, Cech must play well. If he does, the Blues will be serious contenders for the EPL title.
Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend.
He owes the club nothing, except maybe a few more lasting memories. As Chelsea try to get younger, Lampard will play a big role in that.
Lampard must continue to play well, while simultaneously training Oriol Romeu and Oscar how to play the holding midfield in England (because John Obi Mikel is inconsistent, to say the least). If "Super Frank" can be a good mentor, Chelsea will be in great shape for the present and the future.
Eden Hazard will play an intricate role in Chelsea's attack.
It will be interesting to see how he holds up through the long EPL season. Given his size and style, he could pick up a few knocks during the year. The key will be how he handles them.
If Hazard can mature quickly and learn when to simply give the ball up, he will last a long time in England. He might not be as fun to watch, but it might be better for his career, as well as Chelsea's investment.
John Terry is the captain, but he is much more important than that simple title.
Mr. Chelsea means a lot to the club, but he means even more the 10 other players he plays with. He gives them direction and he exudes the passion for his club that everyone tries to emulate (on the pitch). He may not be a great role model as a person, but he certainly is enviable as a footballer.
Terry doesn't know who will be his centre-back partner or his right-back, but he will have to figure things out as they go along. If he can keep his back line organized, Chelsea will be just fine.
With all the talk of this year's transfer, people seem to forget the gem Chelsea bought last year.
Juan Mata made an instant impression in London last year and was named Chelsea's player of the year at the end of the season. Although he had a forgettable performance in the Community Shield, expect last year's form to return soon.
Last year, Mata made the attack run smoothly, and he will be in charge of that once again. With new additions like Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar, Mata's job will be much easier.
However, it won't be any less important.
Fernando Torres is Chelsea's most important player this year.
The Blues have an elite goalkeeper, a solid defense, exceptional midfielders and a striker. Sometimes it's an atrocious striker. Other times, it's a world-class striker.
Nevertheless, the striker in question always happens to be Torres. "El Nino" is a smart, hard-working finisher that (theoretically) would be great for this team. He makes runs to open up the midfield, he can hold up the ball and he can, at times, finish.
If Torres isn't doing those things, the Blues won't beat any elite team. However, if he is doing those things, Torres suddenly makes Chelsea even more dangerous.