As our 2021/22 campaign comes to an end today, Thomas Tuchel has been looking ahead to next season and how we can improve, identifying the final third and one player in particular as having plenty more potential.

As we host Watford at Stamford Bridge in our final Premier League fixture, with a third-place finish all but guaranteed after Thursday’s draw with Leicester City, our head coach’s mind has been occupied by plans for the future and how we can finish higher up the table next time around.

He feels the final third of the pitch could be key in that aim, seeing plenty of room for improvement by the Blues in that area, with our without new additions to the squad, once he has had time to reflect on our performances this season.

‘If we stick to the group then we will try to solve it with these players,’ said Tuchel. ‘Is it necessary to bring more offensive players around the box to create more distraction, to create more space for each other? We will ask that question.

‘Can we do better in the structure? Can we push the players more? Did we maybe rotate too much? Let’s see. There are a lot of options.

‘We need to produce more numbers because the numbers we produce from our offensive players don’t allow us to over-perform and we need over-performance. If we want to be nearer to the top two teams we need over-performance.

‘I’m not pointing fingers or blaming anybody but we need over-performance from everybody and it’s not over-performance if we have only single figures in scoring and assisting.’

Tuchel also identified one player who could contribute significantly to that improvement around the box. Christian Pulisic , although a skilful attacker, has never been a prolific scorer challenging at the top of the goal charts.

The American’s 11 goals for Chelsea in 2019/20 remains the best return of his career so far. However, the Blues boss believes he has the potential for much more ahead, if the 23-year-old can add a clinical streak to his game.

‘He’s not that player who produced in the last three years 30 goals and it’s a matter of time until he is that kind of player. We will push him to the limit.

‘We’re not pointing fingers but we struggle with over-performance in this area and our opponents have certain quality and efficiency on a normal level that is far beyond our level of goals and assists.

‘Maybe we need to help in the way we attack, maybe we can help in the structure of how we attack. We will try to help. We are not blaming anybody, it’s just a fact and we have to get our heads around it.’

Of course, in addition to the continued development of our team and individual players, the summer transfer market could also provide opportunities to improve our squad for next season, both in attack and other key areas.

Given the disadvantage we are likely to suffer due to a late entry into the market because of Government sanctions, though, Tuchel says we will need to take a clever approach to any recruitment in the coming months.

‘Maybe we suffer already from the delay, but we will for sure try to have our impact and we have a strong opinion of what’s missing and what we need for the squad and we will try everything to find it, give our opinion and fight for it.

‘Now we have to be smart and fast as soon as the sanctions are lifted, because they are not lifted at the moment. There are good signs and there is progression, but actually nothing changed so far for us.

‘We are not able to sign our players and we are not able to sell players or swap players or to contact players. So there’s a lot of work to do and a lot of key players are at the end of their contracts. There are some key players already out, Thiago is not getting younger, so there are some things to solve.’