With the transfer window about to open before us and with many of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals having already secured the signatures of both emerging and established talents, I have been left wondering exactly what the clubs transfer strategy is this summer.
With the release of Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, the “amazing” Joe Cole saga, the sale of hotly tipped Miroslav Stoch and the imminent departure of Deco and possibly more, one would assume that the club has been linked with a wealth of global stars, strong squad players and emerging young talent that would befit the stature and ambition of a club announced Double winners in May.
However all has been strangely quiet around Stamford Bridge. Of course allowances must be made for the World Cup, but that hasn’t stopped Arsenal and Manchester United from snapping up prospective additions and I’m not sure that anything could stop the rampaging seven headed hydra that is Manchester City that didn’t contain a ludicrous dose of napalm.
The papers at the close of the season were awash with stories of Roman’s wallet re-opening; huge sums were being bandied around the media and if reports were to be believed Ancelloti would have a sizeable war chest available to him this summer. £40 million for Pato? Sure! £60 million for Torres? Pocket change. Why not throw in £45 million for Kaka and a cheeky £6 million for Benayoun while were at it.
Whilst I am not for one minute condoning that sort of reckless free spending, as exciting as it is, I did expect, as many others I’m sure do that we would be making considerable additions to the team. The strength of our squad in depth was key to our success last season and with the loss of 4 players who all played their part in that, at first glance we appear to be behind with ground to make up.
Before we all start panicking and reaching for our keyboards to vent our frustrations at the owner, the manager, the cleaners and anyone who’ll hear it. Let’s take stock of what we do have.
First of all we have the nucleus of a very, very strong side that whilst is one year older, is still fresh from a year that saw unprecedented success in SW6. Terry, Ivanovic, Cole, Malouda, Kalou and Lampard are all the same great talents that they were before this hideous train wreck of a World Cup, whilst Cech and Alex will be fresher from not having been a part of it. Anelka and Essien have signed new deals that will keep them here for the foreseeable future and with any luck we’ll have Bosingwa and Mikel back too all ready for a solid pre-season.
Carlo has made many allusions to the fact that youngsters such as Kakuta, Matic, Borini, Sturridge, Bruma and Van Anholt will be making further advancements in the squad this season, something that is encouraging and exciting in equal measures. The promise that Kakuta has shown in his brief appearances thus far gives us all hope for the future and Bruma and Van Anholt’s displays were confidentt, assured and they both look ready for the step up.
Additionally, the news that Sam Hutchinson has been back in Cobham early for pre-season training is a source of great anticipation. Hutch has always proven a solid and mature professional throughout his time at Chelsea and his assist in the game against Stoke last season was real class. I for one hope he can add many more games to his tally this term.
The striking options from the youth set up are equally ripe, Fabio Borini continues to impress both in the reserves and in the first team and Daniel Sturridge capped off his first year at Chelsea with a Premier League winners medal and fantastic FA Cup campaign that saw him finish up as our leading scorer in the competition, he will surely be looking to build on those achievements.
Furthermore, I expect that several of the FA Youth Cup winning team, Connor Clifford and Josh McEachran in particular will break through into the squad and make their debuts.
Bringing in some established squad players is still a requirement if we are to compete on all fronts next season, a marquee, high profile signing will signal our intent to our rivals as well as exciting the players and fans alike. Transfer rumours give us all something to debate; however let’s not forget the talent that we already have here at the club.
I have faith that manager will make the right additions where required and will get us all smiling by the time things kick off against West Brom, but lets be patient, get behind the club and the manager and whoever comes in to the squad, give them a chance, support them and give them the opportunity to deliver at Chelsea FC.
I can’t wait to what happens!