Lucas Digne and Jules Kounde 'handed' Chelsea dream as Ruben Loftus-Cheek 'joins' Frank Lampard


Back in August, I penned the summer version of this piece. I theorised about a timeline where Achraf Hakimi signed for Chelsea instead of Paris Saint-Germain and the ramifications of that. The Blues finally signed Declan Rice for a massive fee from West Ham and Hakim Ziyech joined AC Milan on loan.

Five months later, it is time for the January version to again orchestrate an alternative timeline for Thomas Tuchel in a month that appears to be ending with little drama for Chelsea. The Blues' links to former Everton full-back Lucas Digne led to nothing. Instead, the Frenchman joined Aston Villa.

 Chelsea then attempted to throw money Lyon's way to recall Emerson Palmieri as an emergency backup after Ben Chilwell's injury, but that pursuit has come to little and now it looks like the deadline will pass without any major transfers to speak of.

It is the same with fringe first-team players, linked for months with January moves only for that reported interest to dwindle once more. Of course, things could dramatically change on the final day but I'm pretty confident my alternative window is going to be infinitely more exciting.

 Lucas Digne signs A lot of the frustration expressed on social media has been over the club's inaction over providing a new left-back option, especially after Digne was linked with a Stamford Bridge switch at the end of December.

So instead of Villa Park, Digne arrives at Stamford Bridge for £25m. Does this call mean Digne will eventually be loaned out in three years after Marina Granovskaia fails to sell him for £10m? I guess that's a risk worth taking because Tuchel's been 'backed'.

 Marina strikes Pulisic repeat Chelsea appeared very close to signing Jules Kounde last summer and the separation of six months has clearly done little to lessen the Blues' interest in the Sevilla defender.

Even if Marina cannot bring the centre-back to London this season, Sevilla agree to a loan for the second half of the campaign before Kounde joins his new club in July.

 Very similar to the deal done for Christian Pulisic in January 2019, it is a proactive move that plans for next season and lessens the panic over the defensive contract struggle. Ruben joins Frank This is a very recent addition given the reported imminent arrival of Frank Lampard at Goodison Park.

At the time of writing, it has yet to be confirmed but in this timeline, we go with the assumption Lampard is appointed Everton boss and quickly turns attention to his old club.

The sight of Ruben Loftus-Cheek likely remaining a fringe figure for the rest of this season prompts Everton to pursue a loan that materialises in the final hour of the window. Ruben barges past Ross Barkley who thinks the deal is for him.

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