Chelsea in the shadows of Europe’s best

Transfer season is here again and while most teams strengthen, Chelsea is once again faced with the prospect of lagging haplessly behind.

This is nothing new, is it. The summer, for example. It was disastrous. The board simply replaced, they didn’t strengthen. Rudiger replaced Terry. Bakayoko replaced Matic. Morata replaced Diego Costa. Caballero replaced Begovic. Manchester City, on the other hand, strengthened: signing Ederson, Kyle Walker, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva. Whilst, signings such as Morata and Rudiger have performed well for the most part of the season; Morata scoring 10, assisting four in 19 Premier League appearances – it translates into a lack of ambition within the Chelsea ranks.

Morata Image.jpg
Morata has started well at the Bridge – scoring 10 in 19 Premier League games.

Chelsea has no intention of competing with the likes of Manchester City and Europe’s best when it comes to transfers. It was reported that Chelsea was in for Danilo in the summer but wouldn’t stump up an extra €5 million in order to prevent City from swooping in. Instead, Chelsea settled with Davide Zappacosta – a completely left-field signing from Torino, who has not done enough to provide competition for Victor Moses. Chelsea needs upgrades in the attacking position and with a bit of intensity and ambition in the transfer market – could’ve easily acquired Bernardo Silva. Now, I’m not saying Chelsea would be top of the pile had we signed Danilo and Bernardo Silva but it is no coincidence when a team signs quality players in all positions are leading the Premier League by 15 points. Yes, fifteen. Chelsea only won it by seven last season.

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Juan Mata are names on the market from Premier League clubs – with six-months left on their current contracts. Do we see Chelsea attempting to lure a big name in January? Nope, nowhere to be seen. It is inevitable that Alexis will leave Arsenal in January with United and City competing for his services. Why can’t Chelsea compete? Maybe his wage demands of £350k are excessive for a 29-year old, but he is better than what we have. He would improve Chelsea. People say to me that we are not making signings because Conte is leaving at the end of the season. I think: So What. We signed David Luiz and Torres on deadline day in January 2011 when we trying to claw back a deficit of ten points and Ancelotti was sacked after the last game of the season.

Ozil and alexis.jpg
Chelsea has made no attempt to sign Alexis or Ozil despite both their contracts expiring in the summer.

It just shows a lack of ambition from the Chelsea board; Conte’s uncertain future may play a part in their judgment but it’s inexcusable. Chelsea is unwilling to match Juventus’ £60 million demands for Alex Sandro. Aubameyang is on the market after falling out of favour with Dortmund. Those two players would strengthen Chelsea so it is no brainer to at least try to get them in – make a bid, try to relieve the fans frustrations, especially after such poor results. Three 0-0’s broke an unwanted club record.

Ross Barkley is the only entry into the Club and I fear the 24-year-old will be the last. The Club’s vision of sustainability will ultimately result in finishing in the top 4 being considered acceptable. The Club is falling behind both Manchester teams and to some extent, Liverpool, who added Virgil Van Dijk to their ranks. Maybe being 16 points off the pace will change things and by January 31st, we will have additions but I doubt it. We’ll get humiliated in the Last 16 of the Champions League and a new Head Coach will come in the summer. This will ultimately be repeated unless the manager has control of transfers, since Marina Granovskaia and Bruce Buck to name a few, are completely and utterly incompetent.

There is the stadium renovation in the pipeline. Sure, I understand that. Arsenal fans used that as an excuse when they had to pay off the debts from building the Emirates. The difference is – there is money there waiting to be spent. In terms of buying and selling players, since 2010, Chelsea made a profit of £285 million.  Armed with that, there is the Nike sponsorship deal as well as Chelsea announcing a record turnover and a £15.3 million profit overall.  For a set of business statistics, those are fantastic but the impact on the team is clear to see. We aren’t investing that money correctly by investing in world-class players when we can afford to. Roman has probably stored it in some offshore company in the Cayman Islands or invested it in an oil company in Russia.

New Stamford Bridge.jpg
Risk: Chelsea seemingly prioritising new stadium ahead of being competitive on the pitch.

Ultimately, Chelsea is already lagging behind Europe’s best and will continue to be unless something changes. They have next to no chance in the Champions League as well as failing miserably in their defence of the Premier League. The FA Cup and a League Cup are the only two realistic propositions but with City potentially in the final, should we overcome Arsenal, then it’s only the FA Cup. In order to improve this, the only option is to change the transfer policy and appoint a Manager instead of a Head Coach.

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Published by

Chris Bradford

20. Chelsea FC. Student at University of Liverpool. Twitter: @ChrisUTC97

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