The past 12 months have been nothing short of a disaster at Stamford Bridge. The club managed to get through four managers and spent upwards of £600m on new signings. However, all the club got in return for their huge outlay was a dismal 12th-place finish in the Premier League, their worst in 28 years.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Blues also suffered embarrassing third-round exits in both the FA Cup and the League Cup, tournaments in which the club finished as runners-up last season. Add to that a humbling 4-0 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and a horrifying end to their league campaign in which they picked up just six points in their final 11 games of the season, and it’s clear to see why fans wish to forget all about the recently finished campaign.
Chelsea finished the season with a paltry 44 points, less than half of the eventual champions Manchester City, who finished on 89 points. Pep Guardiola’s unstoppable winning machine romped to the treble last term. They thumped Arsenal 4-1 in the Premier League title decider, beat Inter Milan by a goal to nil in Istanbul to secure the Champions League, and defeated cross-city rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Incoming Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino has his work cut out if he is to close the gap on the Etihad Stadium outfit.
With the club’s relatively new owner Todd Boehly forking out eye-watering sums on new additions in the last year, fans are curious to see how much more the American business mogul is willing to invest. He has signed cheques equating to almost £90m to bring in RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku and talented young Villareal striker Nicolas Jackson. But how soon will it be before the well dries up?
The Story So Far
Under Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea claimed a respectable third-place finish in 2021/22. Add to that appearances in two domestic cup finals and the campaign could be considered a relatively successful one all things considered. With the club seemingly well-positioned to make an assault on the title, Boehly opened the check book, but things have gone downhill ever since.
Following the departure of several key and squad players last summer, the club saw the need to invest heavily in its playing staff. Defenders Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, and Kalidou Koulibaly, as well as attackers Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, were all brought in for eye-watering sums, however, none of them have been able to live up to their superstar billing. Koulibaly has already been shipped out of the club and former Arsenal striker Auba is expected to follow.
A disappointing start to the season saw the club invest another £300m+ in January. Huge sums were spent on Argentinian World Cup winner Enzo Fernández and Ukrainian prodigy Mykhaylo Mudryk. Further money was spent on the likes of former Monaco defender Benoît Badiashile and former PSV Eindhoven winger Noni Madueke Right Winger and while they too haven’t yet hit the heights expected of them, they are the players that Poch is expected to build around this summer.
The Rumour Mill
As is always the case throughout the transfer window, the rumour mill is once again in overdrive at present. But before we get into the ifs, buts, and maybes, let’s look at what we already know. And that is the fact that the trimming of the fat is already underway.
Kai Havertz, the man who scored the goal that brought Chelsea their second UEFA Champions League crown just three years ago, has left for Arsenal for a reported £65m. Home-grown England international midfielder Mason Mount has departed for Manchester United for just shy of £60m. Mateo Kovačić left for Manchester City for a cut price of £20m due to him only having a year left on his contract.
Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, and N’Golo Kante have all left for the Saudi Professional League, with the former two leaving for a combined fee of almost £40m. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has joined AC Milan for a reported £12m, and further departures are expected.
Whether Todd Boehly invests that money into new players, or he banks it to cover his already sizable outlay remains to be seen, however, there are several players still being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Roma’s Paulo Dybala is the most recent player to rumoured be on the move and the Argentinian sensation reportedly has a release clause in his contract which expires this summer. Brighton’s midfield dynamo Moisés Caicedo is also being pursued however the Seagulls reportedly want upwards of £100m to part with their key man.
Arsenal striker has also been linked with the club in recent weeks. The newly minted United States international had an impressive campaign under the tutelage of maverick manager Will Still in France with Stade de Reims. He netted 21 goals in 37 appearances last term, and he is thought to be the man Pochettino wants to partner with the incoming Nkunku in a new look attack in West London.
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