While the Premier League season has only ended a few weeks prior, Chelsea are already behind in this summer’s transfer window. And it hasn’t even officially opened yet.
Flashback to two summer’s ago, when Chelsea arguably won the summer. Before the World Cup, the Blues had already confirmed the signing of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
They would also add Filipe Luis and Loic Remy before the end of the transfer window.
The Blues were ahead of all of the others in their moves, targeting the players they wanted and getting the deals confirmed before the World Cup stole their attention.
Instead of sitting back and watching the players audition in the shop window competition like all of the other clubs, the Blues went about their business swiftly and ruthlessly.
They didn’t allow for other teams to weigh in, avoided the bidding wars, and had their major business completed before a ball was kicked in Brazil.
One would have thought that winning the title that season would have confirmed that the Blues policy was pretty effective. Their signings were key in the trophy run and there was no interference from outside forces.
For some reason, the lesson seemed to be lost on the Chelsea board, which opted to sit back last summer and allow themselves to be linked with every player in Europe, while failing to sign any of them.
All the while, their rivals were retooling their sides for battle. Conversely, Chelsea were caught napping and coasting off of their title glory. When they realized that signings needed to be made, it was too late to acquire the players they truly wanted.
This is why they ended up buying a player like Papy Djilobodji on deadline day, instead of signing John Stones in June/July. Business was done in haste and it more than cost Chelsea during last season.
While effectively replacing the outgoing Petr Cech, the West Londoners started the season dangerously thin at the back and injury prone in the front. The result wasn’t pretty.
A dip in form from some major stars was all it took to start the ball rolling in what ended up being one of the largest collapses in Premier League history. The fall from grace was hauntingly beautiful.
Therefore, it would be easily argued that if any team needed to come out of the gates strong this summer, it was Chelsea. Yet, we are partly through the month of June and all the Blues have to show for the time passed is a few rumors.
Once again, they are linked with every player in the world, yet they’ve moved on zero of them. How the top dogs at Chelsea are allowing this to occur for a second straight season is mind-boggling.
Several top players have already found a new home, yet none will be moving to West London just yet.
City rivals Arsenal have all but bagged a prolific scorer in Jamie Vardy, a move that signals they intend to win the title next season.
Similarly, Manchester City have acquired İlkay Gündoğan from Borussia Dortmund, the first item in what will likely be a long shopping list from Pep Guardiola.
Manchester United have appointed Chelsea’s beloved former manager Jose Mourinho, who looks ready to set the window on fire, already making several moves. This isn’t even mentioning Liverpool and a few other title rivals.
So where are Chelsea among the signings?
With newly appointed manager Antonio Conte not able to take the reigns until after the Euro, the Blues are already at a disadvantage. While Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are comfortably getting settled in at their new jobs, the Italian is working on a whole other project entirely.
This puts the onus on Chelsea’s board to make the moves that need to be made, the people who are ultimately responsible for Chelsea’s current position in the first place.
Though pointing fingers is undoubtedly easier, it won’t get Chelsea back to the top. In Chelsea’s case, it’s absolutely imperative that the board step up. There is no other option.
There is no way that Chelsea appointed Conte without planning for a situation like this. It’s unfathomable that Conte has yet to pass on a wish list. Where the progress is on this list is unknown.
One thing is for certain. While Chelsea continue to rest on their laurels, their rivals are ruthlessly going about their business.
There is no such thing as a free pass this summer. Chelsea have to act and they have to act now.
Big names who could potentially move are finding their new destinations one by one. If Chelsea aren’t careful, none of these names will call Stamford Bridge their new home.
Chelsea cannot afford to miss another summer of transfer activity. With Conte still at the helm of Italy, the Blues future lies in the hands of their board.
And the writing is already on the wall. Chelsea are set to drop the ball for a second straight summer.
If you thought the free fall that was the West Londoner’s title defence was entertaining, you won’t want to miss what is in store for next season at this rate.