With Jose Mourinho now installed at Stamford Bridge, the rumours mill has run wild with speculation over his first signings, and with Hulk and Schurrle strongly linked in recent days, is Portuguese manager going to tinker with the Blues’ formation
Last season’s Premier League was very much the year of the 4-2-3-1 system, with many of the top sides in the league using just one striker in an attempt to cram in as many attacking midfielders as they could.
Unsurprisingly, given their array of excellent midfielders and paucity of effective strikers, Chelsea employed this formation throughout the season, with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard given free rein to run riot behind either Fernando Torres or Demba Ba.
Having seen both those players make the shortlist for Premier League Player of the Season, it might have been expected that Jose Mourinho would keep the same system in place at Chelsea to get the best from the pair, but with players like Hulk and Andre Schurrle being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, is the Portuguese manager planning to change to a 4-3-3 formation?
Hulk and Schurrle both generally operate on the flanks of a three man attack, rather than in an attacking midfield role, and whilst the German can drop deeper comfortably, if Chelsea are serious about bringing in Hulk, it would surely be to play in a more advanced position.
Of their existing players, you would expect Hazard would be comfortable pushing further forward, but there is a more of a question over Mata, who is ideally suited to playing behind a striker. Mata could drop into the three man midfield, but this again would not be his best position, as he would be too deep to have the same effect in the final third he did last season.
This is all just speculation at this stage, and Mourinho would surely consider the influence of Mata before changing his system, but if Hulk and Schurrle do arrive at Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese manager would certainly have the option of a 4-3-3 formation.
image: © Crystian Cruz