Chelsea have always flirted with danger when it comes to transfer dealing. In the past, overspending has led to an embargo, and a similar scenario may have occurred last season.
Some huge deals saw the likes of Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly arrive at Stamford Bridge. The laws were being pushed to the limit, but Chelsea eventually fell on the right side of Financial Fair Play rules.
Having already offloaded players in the current transfer window, the Blues are now free to spend under new boss Mauricio Pochettino. After a disappointing 2022/23, a significant rebuild was required, and early signs are positive.
Long Term Strategy
During his time at Chelsea’s rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Pochettino earned a reputation for playing stylish football that produced results. Fans of opposing sides will be quick to remind Spurs that they did not win a trophy, but this was an exceptional period for the club.
Tottenham reached the Champions League final in 2019 and were genuine contenders for the Premier League title. The new manager’s arrival has given Chelsea a minor boost in betting sports markets where they are now listed as sixth favorites for the EPL trophy.
With a higher transfer purse at his disposal, Pochettino will be hoping to deliver the silverware that eluded him at Spurs, but has he been spending that money wisely?
Through the Exit Door
When a club endures such a difficult campaign, it’s important to look at the players who have underperformed. Chelsea need to acquire fresh faces, but they must also clear those who have disappointed the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Early dealings at the club have seen more departures than arrivals. N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic have been sold, while Denis Zakaria and Joao Felix return to their parent clubs following loan spells.
Chelsea fans are also waiting for confirmation of Kai Havertz’s move to Arsenal. The German international became a fringe player following his move from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020.
Other players expected to leave Stamford Bridge include Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The deals represent a clearout that was badly needed, but they leave plenty of room in the Chelsea squad for new arrivals.
The First Signing
Chelsea have welcomed their first signing under Mauricio Pochettino. 25-year-old Christopher Nkunku joins from RB Leipzig in a fee believed to be worth in the region of £53 million.
The Blues struggled in all departments last season, but there were big concerns in front of goal. The new manager arrived with an obvious need for a recognised striker, and Nkunku will be looking to fill that gap.
After he was pushed forward from a midfield role, the French international has responded well with 58 goals in 88 games across the last two seasons. If he maintains that ratio in England, Chelsea may have secured a relative bargain.
More to Come
There will be more new faces at Stamford Bridge before the transfer window comes to a conclusion. Chelsea have vacancies in a number of areas, and there is a varied set of names being linked with the club.
The Blues have already done business with Brighton; and it’s widely reported that the club will shortly make a bid for another Seagulls Star. Moises Caicedo has been on the radar of other Premier League sides for some time; and it’s felt that he will leave this summer.
Chelsea have shown interest, but they may face competition from Arsenal and Manchester United. Other players linked with a move to Stamford Bridge include Andre Onana, Jonathan David and Ilian Meslier. It’s going to be a busy window, but will some of Chelsea’s loanees solve a problem next season?
In any given campaign, a number of Chelsea star will sign loan deals at other clubs. Their route to a regular first team place has been barred; but can any of those fringe squad members make an impact under Mauricio Pochettino?
Romelu Lukaku could answer a problem in the striking department; but his stay at Stamford Bridge hasn’t been a happy one, and it’s believed that he wants to return to Inter Milan.
Elsewhere, Callum Hudson-Odoi was once seen as one of English football’s brightest young talents. His form has dipped, but his quality is undeniable.
Anxious to Stay
One player that Chelsea are reluctant to sell is Mason Mount. With the Blues failing to secure Champions League football next season; the England international seems eager to join a Top Four club. Manchester United have made initial enquiries and, while they have been rebuffed, it’s almost certain that they will return.
Mauricio Pochettino will be anxious for Mount to stay as he continues his rebuild of the playing staff. Early trades have been positive; but there is a way to go before the new manager has the team that he wants ahead of the new season.