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JUST IN: Chelsea transfer plan to solve the issue Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali couldn’t fix in January



Chelsea still have more work to do in the transfer window this summer despite having spent a substantial sum in January

One of the biggest talking points to emerge at Chelsea is the significant transfer business the Blues have completed. Since completing their takeover Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have spearheaded £600million transfer spend and left the club with a first team squad of 31 players.

However, the question remains: is this a squad capable of competing at the very top? Regardless of any dismay over the coaching and development of Graham Potter, at this moment in time it appears not.…CONTINUE READING

There is talent in the squad with the likes of Reece James being tied down to a six-year deal at the start of the season as a pillar to build the team around. While there have been moments of hope against the likes of AC Milan, two performances versus Southampton across two managers have perhaps left a more lingering impression.

In the beginning there was a notion of finding players to help Chelsea immediately challenge, albeit with the backdrop of others wanting to leave and stars who had left on free transfers needing to be replaced. Adding the likes of Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly to the squads ranks. In fairness, both Sterling and Fofana showed character in pushing Chelsea to try and find a equaliser against the Saints even if that proved to be in vain.

In January, the addition of Joao Felix on a costly loan deal is a move that can only be perceived as one aiming for success in the immediate future. Defeating Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League will be crucial to sustain that idea with the club now 14 points outside of the Champions League positions.

Even with such a significant outlay, there is a feeling that Chelsea may not have enough all-round leaders. Of course the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva have their qualities, while James and Mason Mount have both been tipped as future candidates to wear the captaincy armband.

The Blues have added a youthful cohort including Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana and Benoit Badiashile all 22 years of age or younger. All were signed on long term deals and upon the announcement of the singing it was not uncommon for Chelsea’s project to be referenced.

Madueke in a recent interview noted it’s appeal. He said: “To come to such an exciting new project really appealed to me. I’m 20 years old, I know I’m not the finished article and in a league as tough as the Premier League, I know I’m going to have ups and downs and highs and lows.”

It is a positive that there is buy-in from the team’s new signings, particularly with the knowledge of how bloated the squad would be. But it also makes clear the difficulty of arriving to make an immediate impact.

There is a sense that Chelsea are in a state of flux; with new players comes new cliques, personalities and preferences. While there is every sense that the environment has been a positive one, it is also one in which it is difficult for new leaders to emerge.

Again there is the sense that work is not complete. It’s become all too apparent that Chelsea struggle to come back when they go behind. Top clubs may not have to come from behind often but the Blues appear to lack a response.

Indeed, there is an acknowledgement that finding new leaders and strong characters will be on the agenda for the summer. There is a reason that Declan Rice is so appealing as a profile of player having captained West Ham, and of course he was unavailable in January.

The Blues have seen Antonio Rudiger depart. Jorginho has also left, having been no stranger to the captaincy armband while Cesar Azpilicueta is more of a squad player than earlier in his career, even as club captain. With his injury, and the forthcoming absence of Thiago Silva, new leaders will need to take their place if Chelsea are to fight their way through games against Leeds and Dortmund.

At risk of being caught in nostalgia, there is a degree of expectation from a side that was home to John Terry, alongside figures such as Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill, Michael Ballack, Claude Makelele, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and many more..…CONTINUE READING

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