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EPL: Chelsea can now complete three huge transfers with unique Mauricio Pochettino masterplan possible

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The January transfer window looks set to largely remain quiet in the final two weeks but it doesn’t mean Chelsea can’t make the most of it. The Blues are still looking at the best way to utilise their squad this month and are yet to bring in any players.

For Mauricio Pochettino it is a far cry from some of the demands he was making publicly earlier this season about wanting more firepower and readymade quality. However, his tune in recent weeks has changed and the group, as well as the wider market, are being assessed instead.

Now it seems that the club are aiming to set themselves up for the summer. Although much less exciting it is perhaps not the worst plan. With most clubs limited to the odd loan deal here or there, especially at the top level, due to the now very real threat of being punished for breaching financial rules, it is a slow-burner.

For Chelsea the most important deals could be ones on the way out rather than coming in.they have welcomed back two midfielders at a time whereby both Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu are sidelined.

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It would be a big step up to see a returning loanee fill the void left but Pochettino may well not have much choice at this stage.

Casadei, specifically, is less likely to be moving on having come back from a decent if unspectacular spell at Leicester. His next step is reasonably at a top-flight club. Santos, though, cannot say the same having failed to make any impact at Nottingham Forest. Before he joins up with the pre-Olympics Brazil squad there is a chance he leaves to go elsewhere.

. With a large squad available to Pochettino, especially if players are coming back to fitness, the chances for first-team minutes for outsiders is reduced. Getting senior experience will not only give them a chance to develop and prove a point, but for the player-trading favourites of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital it allows an opportunity to raise value.

The perfect chance to exploit this has emerged, too. After taking over at Millwall in November, former Blues assistant manager and youth coach Joe Edwards is looking for improvements in his squad.

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The form has been up and down so far, winning just one of the first eight games but going on a run of four clean sheets in a row over the Christmas period. Now a dip of three defeats in a row has left Edwards largely where he left off, hovering above the relegation zone.

Edwards is impressing in his work though and is trying to transform the Lions. “A lot of people tried to warn me, ‘Be careful of what the Millwall fans want! They want [to play] direct, and rough and ready’,” he told the Evening Standard earlier this month. “Almost like the fans turn up to The Den every week and just expect us to launch it into the box.

“I don’t think that’s the case. I’ve had some interaction with fans and then [there is] what I feel out there [on the touchline]. If you look at our last two games, I think we had 20 shots to 12 in the Leicester game and in 30, 35 minutes of the Boro game, it was quite relentless, just waves of attack from us. When you’ve got that kind of speed and intensity, it’s welcomed.”

Edwards is now trying to instil a new philosophy at the club and could be given a helping hand. As has been the case in the past, Chelsea often send their best talent to clubs and coaches that are trusted – Frank Lampard’s Derby County and Adi Viveash at Coventry are two of the standout examples.

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With Edwards trying something new in the Championship his Millwall side are suddenly a much more attractive prospect for Chelsea when they look for ideal loan destinations. “I am very heavily Chelsea connected,” he admitted. “With a couple of transfer windows under my belt and a pre-season with the group, I’d be going into next season optimistic of achieving something in the top half of the league,” he said.

For Chelsea they now have the chance to utilise this relationship with Edwards, offering him some of the best youngsters in the country.he is a name that will be mooted for a temporary spell elsewhere in the next year.

“We spoke about the young players going on loan and I think Alfie’s next step is to go on loan next season and then you see how he does,” John Terry said in December about the youngster. Meanwhile, Santos, although technically a player that belongs at the top end of the Championship if not higher, is in need of some senior appearances himself.

Other top academy players that will be eyeing a move are Leo Castedine and into next season Michael Golding. For Edwards it is a potential goldmine of talent that could be at his fingertips sooner rather than later. With a clear allegiance to the academy it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the relationship used to benefit all parties.

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