I know that Chelsea are supposed to be focusing on youth development, but it will be a while before these kids are eligible.
Chelsea seem to have put the turmoil of 2012-13 behind them and are now fully focused on the season ahead. The squad overhaul that many were expecting has not materialised, and Jose Mourinho will be pleased with the performances on their preseason tour so far.
Pundits and bookmakers alike, via OddsChecker.com, are tipping the Blues for the 2013-14 Premier League title, although the royal blue of Chelsea are currently sharing that dubious honour with the sky blue of Manchester City. There is an expectation that Mourinho will be able to replicate the immediate success that he enjoyed the first time around at Chelsea and performances so far suggest that he could do just that.
However, there is still plenty of work to be done. The 2012-13 season highlighted Chelsea's weaknesses in key areas, and these issues will have to be addressed before Aug. 16.
Below is an infographic designed to highlight the key things to watch out for in the 2013-14 season.
As you can see, the midfield is the only area that doesn't need any serious work. Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel will add to an area already overflowing with talent and will make regular rotation easier. This will go some way to avoiding the exhaustion that the likes of Juan Mata and Oscar suffered towards the end of 2012-13.
They will need to ensure that they maintain their form better than they have in the past to avoid the annual midseason slump, but on the whole, things are looking bright for the Blues. The fans are full of optimism, and Mourinho has brought a new level of belief to the players.
Whether this positivity can translate to results on the pitch—and ultimately silverware—remains to be seen, but experience tells us that next season will certainly be special for Chelsea FC.