Michael Olise Chelsea transfer: How could Chelsea line up with the Frenchman

Michael Olise Chelsea transfer: How could Chelsea line up with the Frenchman

Lavish spenders Chelsea aren't showing any sign of slowing down in the transfer market this summer and the Blues are now understood to have activated the £35m release clause of Crystal Palace forward Michael Olise.

The 21-year-old Frenchman sparkled on the right flank for the Eagles last season, finishing the 2022/23 campaign with 11 Premier League assists – a haul bettered only by Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne.

The creative winger is currently out injured having had surgery on a hamstring issue earlier in the summer and the ex-Reading starlet must now decide whether he wants to cross London from Croydon to Stamford Bridge.

Where would Michael Olise fit in at Chelsea?

New Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino set his charges up in a 3-4-2-1 formation in the Blues’ first game of the Premier League campaign against Liverpool last Sunday, and though the hosts played well for the most part in their 1-1 draw with the Merseysiders, parts of their system didn’t function as well as they would have hoped.

After some first-half wobbles, Chelsea looked relatively solid from a defensive standpoint, while Enzo Fernandez’s excellence in midfield allowed them to dominate possession centrally (64.9%), however, they still lacked cutting edge further forward.

Both Raheem Sterling and Carney Chukwuemeka struggled to find gaps in the Reds’ defence and Chelsea’s two inverted wingers played a grand total of zero key passes between them on Sunday.

Michael Olise meanwhile, played a superb 1.9 key passes per 90 for Crystal Palace last season and his wand of a left foot could add some much-needed menace to Chelsea’s play in the final third.

With Chukwuemeka the likeliest to drop out upon Olise’s arrival, the 21-year-old could occupy one of the spaces behind striker Nicolas Jackson, with Raheem Sterling shifting across ever so slightly.

Michael Olise Chelsea transfer: How could Chelsea line up with the Frenchman

Olise won Crystal Palace’s Players' Player of the Season award last term while primarily operating a little further wide on the left for the Eagles and the French U21 international’s ability to maximise his attributes nearer the touchline could give Mauricio Pochettino food for thought.

Pochettino used a wing-back system against Liverpool last weekend, though the arrival of Olise could offer him a chance to move to a back four, opening up avenues for a rethink further up the pitch.

The Argentinean tactician used a 4-2-3-1 formation during some of Chelsea’s pre-season friendlies and a return to that blueprint would allow Olise to take up his favoured position on the left wing.

A switch to that tactical template would allow the prodigiously talented Carney Chukwuemeka to keep his place in the team, albeit at number ten, while a new central midfield combination of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo could offer a solid platform a little deeper.

Michael Olise Chelsea transfer: How could Chelsea line up with the Frenchman

With a pair of precision passers behind him offering support, Michael Olise would expect to see a lot of the ball down Chelsea’s left, while rampaging fullback Reece James could steam forward to offer an overlapping option on the outside, potentially setting up some easy-on-the-eye combination play.

While Chelsea’s squad is already jam-packed with forward-thinking options, Michael Olise could offer a fresh dimension and a skill set that the Blues seemed to lack when trying to prise open Liverpool’s defence on Sunday, and at £35m, the 21-year-old could be one of the summer’s savviest captures.