Chelsea have been linked with a move for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, with the forward available on a free transfer in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Argentine paid an emotional goodbye to Juventus in the Italian side’s final home game of the season, confirming his departure from the club prior to the match through his social media. Dybala has been at Juventus since 2015, making just shy of 300 appearances in that time.
With the 28-year-old out of contract at the end of the season, Dybala will be available on a free transfer, with many clubs also interested in the forward including Spurs, Manchester United, Arsenal and a handful of Italian clubs. Chelsea have previously been linked with the Argentine this season, with the Blues reportedly offered the chance to sign Dybala on a pre-contract agreement in February.
So, could the Argentine forward help Chelsea win trophies? We simulated next season with Dybala in the Chelsea squad and this is what happened.
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Dybala to join Chelsea at the start of the summer 2022 transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation. We also had Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen depart the club.
Dybala quickly became a vital part of Tuchel’s plans in the simulation, with the forward earning the second-most appearances out of Chelsea’s attackers in the simulation. Throughout the season, Dybala made 37 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 and assisting 10 goals in that time.
With plenty of attacking options, Tuchel rotated his forward three often, with Kai Havertz the only ever-present player in the frontline. Dybala grabbed all 10 of his goals in the Premier League along with four assists, whilst he also managed an impressive record of five assists in six UEFA Champions League appearances.
At the end of the season, the Argentina international was Chelsea’s third top scorer, whilst also managing the second-most assists in the squad. Kai Havertz topped the charts in both goals and assists, with the German scoring 25 and assisting 14 during an incredible campaign.
Romelu Lukaku played second-choice to Havertz, but the Belgian was reliable when called upon, scoring 17 times in 32 appearances. Conor Gallagher ended the season on nine goals as he remained with the Blues following his loan at Crystal Palace, whilst Hakim Ziyech was the fifth-highest scorer, finding the net six times.
At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Chelsea XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics. This is what Chelsea’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2022/23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:
Full Chelsea best XI (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Chalobah, Sarr, Silva; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Dybala, Mount; Havertz.
Despite not having a great return on goals and assists, Mason Mount still averaged a high rating as he got in the best XI over Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner. Jorginho and Kante made the midfield over Mateo Kovacic, Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Maland Sarr became a regular in a back three with Thiago Silva and Trevor Chalobah.
Chelsea’s results from the 2022/23 simulation
Chelsea were unable to challenge for the Premier League title once again in the 2022/23 season, finishing third in the table, joint on points with Arsenal in fourth. But, they were much closer to the winners in terms of points. A 4-0 win on the final day of the season saw Chelsea beat Arsenal to third place, whilst the Blues finished just four points behind Liverpool in second and nine behind winners Man City.
Surprisingly, despite adding to their attack, it was scoring goals that proved the issue in the Premier League, with Chelsea ending the season as the fifth-best scorers in the league. They also managed the second-best defence in the league, with Sarr having a great season in the heart of the defence.
Despite not challenging for the Premier League, the Blues did manage to win the biggest trophy in European football – the Champions League. A tough match-up with Liverpool saw the score remain 0-0 until the 90th minute, with substitute Timo Werner scoring in the final minute to win the trophy for the Blues.
Chelsea also faced Liverpool in the FA Cup final, but they couldn’t make it a double as the Reds won 2-1 at Wembley. Chelsea were shocked in the Carabao Cup, losing on penalties in the third round of the competition to League One side Peterborough.
Overall, this Football Manager simulation predicts that if Chelsea were to sign Dybala in the summer, the Argentine could have an impressive season with the Blues, becoming a regular in their starting XI and making a decent attacking contribution. The Blues won the Champions League with Dybala assisting the match-winning goal, and with the 28-year-old available on a free transfer, a move to the Blues looks to be a good deal for Chelsea in the summer.
Would you like to see Paulo Dybala sign for Chelsea? Let us know in the comments!