Chelsea must go toe-to-toe with Manchester City and Liverpool this season otherwise Thomas Tuchel will find himself under pressure.
That’s the view of former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor who opened up on what the Blues need to compete for the title with the Premier League’s top two.
Chelsea finished third last season after a solid start to the campaign and looked as though they could go the distance.
But a poor run of form in the spring saw City and Liverpool pull clear and, in the end, Chelsea finished third – 19 points behind Pep Guardiola’s eventual champions.
“Chelsea can’t keep going on third or fourth,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT.
“They need to be thinking about catching the two at the top. They can’t just let Liverpool and Manchester City every season beat them.
“Chelsea need to make progress and Thomas Tuchel is under pressure this season. If he keeps finishing third and fourth it’s not good enough.
“They need a defender they need a central midfielder and they need a striker. De Jong would be nice but they need to concentrate on another attacker.”
Since their last title win in 2017, Chelsea’s highest Premier League finish came under Maurizio Sarri in 2019 when the Blues finished third – repeated by Tuchel last term.
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The German manager has overseen a squad shake up this summer that has resulted in centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen depart for LaLiga and striker Romelu Lukaku return to Inter Milan on loan.
But the additions of Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Carney Chukwuemeka have helped maintain optimism around Stamford Bridge with more arrivals expected before the end of the transfer window on September 1.
However, that optimism hasn’t yet transcended to talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy who is far from confident about the Blues’ title hopes this term.
Cundy said: “I do not put Chelsea right now in the hunt for the title. Right now, we can’t rival City and Liverpool.”
Should Chelsea land their reported targets of Frenkie de Jong, Marc Cucurella and Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana, Cundy might just change his stance.
Chelsea kick-off their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a trip to Frank Lampard’s Everton.
The Premier League is back and talkSPORT has it covered, with games on Friday, Saturday and Monday, beginning with Crystal Palace vs Arsenal on 5 August
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