Chelsea signed a grand total of eight players during the January transfer window as Graham Potter looks to revive the club as he begins to shape the team to his own style and he will be hoping his new players can gel quickly together.
While there were plenty of incomings, Jorginho left for Arsenal and Hakim Ziyech was close to signing for Paris Saint-Germain on loan, however, the move was rejected due to paperwork issues and it’s clear his future no longer lies with the club.
Will Dion Rankine replace Ziyech at Chelsea?
Who could replace Ziyech at Chelsea?
Potter did sign youngster Noni Madueke from PSV Eindhoven as an option for the right-wing and with the club aiming to sell a few players to balance the books, Ziyech certainly looks like he could be moved on in the summer, having been moments away from a switch on deadline day in January.
Madueke made a breakthrough for PSV this season, making nine appearances while scoring twice and this prompted the London side to move for the 20-year-old.
In the academy, however, there could well be a player who is able to fill the Ziyech void whenever he does move – Dion Rankine.
Who is Dion Rankine?
The winger has been at the club since 2016 and has progressed through the age groups to become a regular for the development side, and he signed his first professional contract in October 2019.
Rankine can play on either the right or left, while has also operated as a wingback for the development side and this versatile nature could be a big plus point for Potter, coupled with his excellent pace, he could certainly be a player who could replace the Moroccan international.
The youngster’s attacking statistics are miles ahead of Ziyech’s this season, having registered seven goal contributions in 20 matches compared to just one in 16 games for the 29-year-old, proving that he should be given a chance during the latter part of the campaign.
Indeed, across all age groups for Chelsea, Rankine has scored 12 goals and registered ten assists in 105 matches, and considering some of these were played in a wing-back role, it’s all the more impressive.
Journalist Sam Inkersole once lauded the winger as “excellent” back in 2021 and it appears this season he has caught fire in terms of attacking output.
Despite the heavy spending at the club, Potter will surely be keeping an eye on players such as Rankine and will hopefully give the 20-year-old prodigy a chance in the first team sooner rather than later.