Securing FA Cup glory will turn Chelsea into title contenders next season, says Pat Nevin.
The Blues managed to reach the 2020 Wembley showpiece but fell at the final hurdle.
Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners against the backdrop of an empty stadium despite Chelsea taking the lead after just five minutes.
But with Thomas Tuchel now in charge following Frank Lampard’s dismissal in January, the German chief is looking to bring his first trophy to Stamford Bridge.
Nevin, who made 193 appearances for the west Londoners, believes success in the FA Cup can springboard his former side to Premier League and European triumphs.
“It would be brilliant for Tuchel and brilliant for the Chelsea fans as it was painful last season,” he said.
“They didn’t perform at their best in the final against Arsenal 12 months ago.
“But if Tuchel managed to win the competition and this group of players got their first trophy, remember what Mourinho used to say?
“It makes you believe and know that you can do it.
“If Kai Havertz and Timo Werner get that silverware, this will then feel like a real team.
“They’ll have a bond and be a group of winners. It’ll make a massive difference. Securing the FA Cup could be a real turning point for them.”
Chelsea are pushing to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and are unbeaten in 13 games under Tuchel.
They bagged a second-leg 2-0 win over La Liga pace-setters Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Hakim Ziyech scored a first-half opener and a late Emerson Palmieri strike capped off a fine performance.
Tuchel is now expected to rotate his team for today’s clash with Sheffield United, who sent Chris Wilder packing earlier this month after a dismal campaign.
Paul Heckingbottom is in caretaker charge and watched the Blades get battered 5-0 by Leicester last weekend in the top flight.
Nevin is adamant that even the Blues’ backup players have enough quality to see off Sheffield United and progress to semi-final.
“Chelsea could have the best squad in the league,” he added. “It’s either them or Manchester City.
“Basically you can move 10 players out, bring another 10 in and it won’t massively change the quality of the team.
“There isn’t one player where you think he must be in starting XI. Even the likes of N’Golo Kante or Mason Mount, you could leave them out.
“If you have that luxury, it means you can attack the FA Cup as much as anyone else.”
* Fans can watch the EFL on Quest Highlights show each Saturday from 9pm with midweek shows throughout the season on EFL matchdays.
READ MORE: Thomas Tuchel breaks Chelsea record with formidable start to life at Stamford Bridge
READ MORE: Hakim Ziyech shows Thomas Tuchel what Chelsea have been missing in Atletico victory