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Football London
Football London
Tom Coley

Chelsea have five underperforming players this season

Chelsea are on course to score just 41 goals this season. After 27 games they are being outscored by Erling Haaland. Three teams below them in the table - including 17th placed Leicester - have netted more times than the Blues. The top two have both scored double the amount this season.

In the league under Graham Potter they average just one goal a game - 21 in 21. Since then Haaland alone has scored 17 times in 19 games. The top scorer for the club in the league this season is Kai Havertz with just seven. Only five teams in the league have players with less goals as the top scorer.

They are the lowest scorers in the top half by nine goals and are on track to record their lowest ever tally of strikes in a league season since the creation of the Premier League. Even when finishing tenth in 2015/16 they scored 59 goals - the eighth most for that season.

READ MORE: Graham Potter sacked, Champions League winners: Pundits predict Chelsea end of season outcome

The previous lowest before that was 14th in 93/94 when they scored 49 times in a 42 game season. Some solace can be taken from the fact that they have now scored twice in three successive games for the first time since October.

It's little to cheer about but the form of Joao Felix - who has two goals since joining in January - does represent an improvement in the final third. Even though the Blues are still massively underperforming their xG for the season the Portugal forward has offered a new dimension to things.

He has seen the best come from Havertz, who has now scored four goals since Felix's arrival, nearly half of his tally for the whole season. The German is far from prolific and hasn't ever shown much indication of becoming a goalscoring genius in England. Felix isn't prone to it either, never getting more than eight in a league campaign since leaving Benfica in 2019.

Havertz, who scored 29 over two years at Bayer Leverkusen, is more of a centre-forward than his new teammate but still leaves plenty to be desired. Those seasons represent a massive outperformance of xG though and since then he has underperformed the metrics.

Outside of those two, who are just about the only players living up to or close to expectations in the frontline, there have been disappointments across the board. Christian Pulisic, though out with injury for much of the campaign, has one goal and one assist in 689 minutes.

Hakim Ziyech is yet to score in 572 minutes across the season, Armando Broja only got one before injury ruled him out for the campaign and outside of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's debut strike in the league he hasn't scored again domestically.

Mason Mount is struggling the most, only able to conjure up three goals and two assists despite registering over ten on both counts last season. His form has hit rock-bottom this season amid an uncertain future.

Meanwhile star summer addition Raheem Sterling has been in and out himself with injury but will still be frustrated to only notch four goals in 16 starts. He has found things hard in a different system and is on course for his worst goalscoring season since he was 17.

Goals haven't come from the wing-backs either this term with Reece James and Ben Chilwell both stunted with their own setbacks. They added eight goals and 10 assists in 29 starst last term but haven't got close to that this year.

Then comes the extra reinforcements in the form of Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk. Both look raw and exciting at stages but the end product is yet to come. They are both signings with an eye on the future and not for now.

Given the depth of the squad at Stamford Bridge in attack and the money spent to assemble this group over four years the output has been startling low. The buck rests mostly with Pulisic, Ziyech, Aubameyang and Sterling though as the biggest disappointments. That being said, fans may not have had particularly high hopes for the first three.

As for Havertz, he has struggled for the first half of a season in each of his three years in England and this has been no different. Despite being played in a role not suited to him, four league goals before January 15 isn't enough regardless of his improved form in recent weeks.

The challenge for Potter, as it was for Thomas Tuchel and Frank Lampard behind him, is creating a cohesive attack to make up for the lack of individual predatory instinct. There have been signs of that emerging but for many of the frontline it's too little and far too late.


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