It goes without saying we all loved transfer deadline day because we came out of it with Fernando Torres and David Luiz, strengthening our side in two areas that clearly needed attention. For me though, the other positive to come out of Monday was the statement those signings made in terms of Roman Abramovich’s continued commitment to Chelsea.
He’s always been a man of few words but his actions on Monday spoke volumes in the face of continued crap in the press that he was tiring of Chelsea FC. Worse than that though has been articles from our own supporters raising the same questions. Why anyone buys into the rubbish that’s written, with nothing to support it apart from his absence from games from time to time and a cut back in spending, is beyond me.
I won’t pretend the lack of spending – or more to the point, the impact of it – hasn’t been frustrating at times. We seemed to go from one extreme to the other over a few years, from a squad heaving with players we didn’t need to less than the bare minimum and a struggle to adequately cover injuries.
It seems to me Roman was serious about changing the way the club operated and he didn’t want to throw huge sums of money about again, and whilst it’s fair to say he still shelled out £22million for Ramires (and a more modest £5.5m for Benayoun) last summer, firstly it’s a lot less than he was asked to invest when it was Mourinho buying players and secondly, we had just cut our wage bill by letting players like Belletti, Ballack, Cavalho, Deco and Joe Cole go.
Those two players aside, with age not so much creeping up as advancing rapidly on our major players, the plan seemed to be around the expectation of Ancelotti introducing a splattering of youth here and there – and to be fair, he’s done a bit of that.
Off the back of those changes and some long term absences through injury though, we were visibly weakened and a poor run of form – the likes of which Abramovich has never seen during his reign – made him realise we needed something to freshen us up again. And so, not for the first time since he’s been with us and no doubt not for the last either, Roman bailed us out.
The sign of a man tiring of a club? I don’t think so. But whilst already, the press are full of predictions around the sort of money we’ll get back to spending, I’m not so sure they’ve got it right because whilst it remains the case that our older players certainly won’t get any younger, we’ve just brought in Torres (26) and Luiz (23). The loan moves for Daniel Sturridge (21) and Gael Kakuta (19), both to Premier League clubs, can only help them to progress in preparation for our first team. Josh McEachran (17) and Jeffrey Bruma (19) have already had opportunities this season, with neither of them looking out of their depth in the side and Ramires (23) seems to be settling in nicely.
So will we really need to go back to throwing money around the minute the next transfer window opens? I’m guessing Abramovich thinks not and I’d be inclined to agree.