Chelsea have no doubt established themselves as this season’s “big spenders” in the transfer window, with six big name acquisitions having currently arrived at Stamford Bridge. This has come as no surprise to Chelsea fans, having endured last summers transfer ban courtesy of UEFA for breaking rules relating to the transfer of minors. With multiple areas in the squad needing addressing via the market, how successful has the current investment been in terms of fixing problem areas from last season?
Starting with arguably the two biggest signings of the window, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, signed for £47 million and £75 million respectively. Losing both Eden Hazard and Willian meant Chelsea lost a great deal of creative output and so the club turned to the market in order to address this. Werner arrived at the club having scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga the previous season, and despite not scoring in his first two games, I think most Chelsea fans would say he has made an impactful start. As for Kai Havertz, he has made an understated start to his Chelsea career since becoming the club’s record signing, however its natural that Kai will need time to adjust to the Premier League and his new teammates, so anyone expecting fireworks straight away will no doubt be disappointed. Further adding to the attacking options, Chelsea have also acquired Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, and whilst he is currently injured, he will surely have a massive impact in terms of output and chance creation once fully fit.
The main takeaway from Frank Lampard’s first season in charge was that Chelsea desperately needed to bring in defensive reinforcements. Rudiger and Christensen in particular were often erratic and lazy at vital points in games which end up costing us vital points, and so free agent Thiago Silva was brought in to help fix up the back line. Personally I think this season Thiago Silva will prove to be Chelsea’s most important signing. His blend of experience and quality will not only improve the defence exponentially, but the help and guidance he can provide to young defenders at the club such as Tomori I think will prove invaluable in the years to come.
Ben Chilwell was also brought in to drastically improve upon the left back position. Although Marcos Alonso has provided Chelsea fans with many memorable goals during his time with the club, his lack of defensive ability has become a real problem when asked to play in a four at the back system. As for Emerson, even as a bit-part player he has struggled to show his qualities as a left back, hence why Chilwell has been brought in. Expected to make his debut against West Brom at the weekend, Chilwell offers attacking quality as well as defensive stability, which will prove vital in elevating Frank Lampard’s system. Down the left hand side, Chilwell and Pulisic could strike up a fantastic partnership for years to come.
Chelsea’s business however, is not done yet. Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is expected to arrive later this week, to the elation of Chelsea fans everywhere, in order to replace Kepa as the number one. Multiple sources have also claimed Chelsea are keen to bring in a defensive midfielder before the window shuts, with West Ham’s Declan Rice being touted as the number one option. To me, Declan Rice to Chelsea seems almost inevitable. Rice is a huge Chelsea fan himself and is great friends with members of the squad, most notably Mason Mount. Lampard knows Kante will not be able to play 90 minutes for 50 games this season, so cover in midfield is no doubt needed if Chelsea are to progress this season. Sources state West Ham will hold out for their £80 million valuation of Rice, but with time running out for them to make additions of their own following a poor start to the season, their hands could soon be tied to sell Rice for a lower fee.
Chelsea’s transfer activity has certainly improved key areas of the team, and put the team in a strong position to challenge for major honours in the years to come. With the potential signings of Rice and Mendy, those honours really don’t seem very far away.