Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson believes the club can become title contenders next season if Thomas Tuchel replaces two ageing stars in his side.
The German boss is expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer, with a number of ins and outs.
For the Blues to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, and possibly a resurgent Liverpool, they will need to invest in Tuchel’s squad.
The London club are unbeaten in eight matches under the former PSG boss. That run has seen them narrow the gap to the Champions League places.
Chelsea enjoyed their most significant result to date as they won 1-0 against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League last 16, first leg clash in Bucharest.
Olivier Giroud scored the winner with a superb overhead kick. However, Johnson has called for the veteran forward to be replaced long-term at Stamford Bridge.
Johnson also believes that Thiago Silva will not last long in England, with the 36-year-old currently sidelined with injury.
The former Blues star thinks the club are becoming increasingly dependent upon the veterans. To that end, he feels they should be replaced by younger signings going forward.
“I think they [Chelsea] need a top, younger centre half and they need a top striker,” Johnson told Metro.
“Obviously they’ve spent a lot of money in the wide areas and in midfield. I think they’re a far better side with Giroud and he’s the guy that they’ve been trying to get out of the door for the last few years. It shows you that they’ve tried to replace him and haven’t managed to do so.
“I think a top striker is the main thing. Giroud is 34 now so there’s only so much he can do.
“The same stands at centre-half because Thiago Silva is different class. But his body can’t cope with the Premier League every week.”
Haaland a perfect fit for Chelsea
Chelsea have been strongly linked with prolific Dortmund marksman Haaland, who has hit a remarkable 43 goals in 43 games for the Bundesliga giants since joining from RB Salzburg.
The 20-year-old has a release clause in his contract that allows clubs to sign him for around £62million in 2022.
However, the report adds that the Blues believe they have a better chance of landing him this summer.
And Johnson believes the Norway hotshot would be a perfect replacement for Giroud.
He added: “I think someone like Haaland would be ideal.
“He’d be the perfect replacement for Giroud. He’s big, he’s quick, he’s powerful, he’s unbelievable in front of goal.
“Those sort of signings give a lift to the rest of the dressing room and it would be a real statement if they could pull it off.”