Yesterday, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck announced he expects Carlo Ancelotti to sign two or three more players. It seems that rather than getting carried away after winning the double, the club are well aware of what’s required if we’re to build on our recent success.
Buck says “Chelsea had a board meeting on Monday at Cobham and the board formally thanked Carlo and his staff and the players for a job well done but it was also pointed out that Monday was the start of the new season. We have to start looking forward and are planning for the new season. The double is something special, very few teams have done it, and certainly in the last seven years this has to be the best season we have had. But we have to keep in mind that this is a season that has had a few ups and downs. The other Premier League titles that we have won in recent history were, from start to finish, pretty straightforward, if you can use that word. We were ahead all the time and won those titles in April. It is a lot different from winning it on the last day of the season.”
However, whilst the press continue to link us with about half a dozen players daily, Buck insists we’ll base any signings on gaps left by departures rather than make wholesale changes, stating “I have said that in every year there is some refreshing of the squad and maybe we can expect three or four in and three or four out. But this year I think Carlo has said two or three in and two or three out and he is very satisfied with the current squad. We can expect a couple of changes but that is just the nature of football, you can’t have the jigsaw puzzle together and that is it forever. Let’s see how the summer pans out. Once we are really clear on the kind of vacancies we may have and what we want to fill, we will decide what kind of player we want. Between now and the end of the transfer season there will be a story somewhere that every great player in Europe is coming to Chelsea. We will just have to see how it pans out.”
And whilst Buck refutes any suggestion of an ageing side at Chelsea, he does expect to see our younger players coming through next season, confirming “I honestly think that a year ago I was the one who first used the phrase ‘marquee player’ and I have regretted it ever since. Every year, because of players being injured, players being not as good or better than expected or opportunities arising, it is an ever-changing scene so we can expect some changes during the summer, but we don’t agree with some of the comments that we have an old squad. Our average age is 27 to 28 years old and we do expect a number of players from the Academy and the reserves to be in the first-team squad next year.”
One player Buck seems very clear about wearing the Chelsea shirt next season though, is Frank Lampard and following recent suggestions from the press that our midfielder could follow Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid, Buck says “Lampard is a great player. You can’t possibly imagine Frank Lampard wearing a shirt other than the Chelsea shirt. We have a couple of players, each of whom you could say is Mr Chelsea. They are very lucky to be at Chelsea and we are very lucky to have them.”