It’s been almost a month since Potter replaced Tuchel in the Stamford Bridge dugout, but the trip to Crystal Palace represented the first Premier League match under his stewardship. And Chelsea got off to the worst possible start at Selhurst Park, falling behind after just seven minutes.
But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – signed by his predecessor – scored the equaliser, before Conor Gallagher smashed in an injury-time winner. The result lifts Chelsea to fifth in the Premier League table with sights firmly set on the top four.
After spending more than £200million in the summer window, new owner Todd Boehly clearly displayed his intentions and he looks set to do so again for his new boss. In fact, Chelsea appear to have already got a head-start on their rivals, with reports claiming they have agreed to sign RB Leipzig superstar Christopher Nkunku next summer.
Mirror Football takes a look at how Nkunku will fit in and how Chelsea could line up, if Potter gets his wishes in the transfer market.
Goalkeeper and defenders
It was only January of this year that Edouard Mendy was recognised as the world’s best goalkeeper. But as Tuchel proved, there is little loyalty at Chelsea and his recent performances have left a lot to be desired.
Contract talks are ongoing with the Senegal international, with reports suggesting he has already turned one offer down. Kepa Arrizibalaga was in the sticks vs Palace, with the first-choice ruled out and both appear to have relatively uncertain futures.
Chelsea have already dipped into the talents at Potter’s former side, signing Marc Cucurella for big money and Robert Sanchez is another who could make the trip. The Spaniard has become one of the Premier League’s top keepers and has already shown he can play within Potter’s system.
The new Blues boss has already made it clear he will be tactically versatile, playing different formations in each of his opening two games. For the purpose of this exercise, we will go with five at the back, getting the best out of the players already at his disposal.
Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly are given starting berths, with Josko Gvardiol joining them centrally. Gvardiol was a target for the Blues during the most recent window and look sure to reignite that at the next available opportunity. Reece James and Marc Cucurella are lined up as wing-backs to complete a formidable looking back-five.
We are firmly into dream territory here, but Chelsea are one of the sides hoping to strike a deal to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund. He will cost any potential suitor more than £100m, but on recent evidence, he would be worth every penny.
Bellingham would add a splash of youth to an ageing midfield, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both at risk of leaving in the next 12 months. Mateo Kovacic is given the nod alongside Bellingham with his England team-mate Mason Mount playing as the creative No.10 Potter craves.
Chelsea have moved swiftly to land one of their top targets for next year, less than a month after this window closed. By the time next summer rolls around, Christopher Nkunku could be one of the most in-demand players in world football. After scoring 35 in all competitions last term, the 24-year-old already has eight this time around.
Reports claim a pre-agreement has already been reached with Nkunku with a medical completed. He will be joined by Raheem Sterling, providing Potter with the kind of flexible and high-energy forward line he is after. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will still be around and offer a viable alternative off the bench – or should they wish to change the shape.
There is also the looming spectre of Romelu Lukaku and whether he will ever return to the English capital to continue his flagging Chelsea career. Tuchel had clearly made his mind up on the Belgian, but it remains to be seen whether Potter will bring him back into the picture.
Potter’s dream Chelsea XI (5-3-2):
Sanchez; James, Koulibaly, Gvardiol, Fofana, Cucurella; Bellingham, Kovacic, Mount; Sterling, Nkunku