4 signings. Sometimes 4 changes in personnel is all it takes to transform a club. In Chelsea’s case, 4 signings are all it takes to come from a disappointing season to title favorites.
If there is one man that knows what four signings can do to a team, it’s Jose Mourinho. That’s right, Chelsea’s former manager knows about how a few signings can change the dynamic of a squad.
He’s added a few quality players to his Manchester United squad, namely Pogba, Zlatan, Bailey and Mkhitaryan. These 4 additions alone have seemingly transferred a squad that looked desperately behind par last season.
For an even more personal example, take Chelsea’s 2014 summer. The Portuguese tactician targeted Diego Costa and Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid. They also set their sights on Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas and QPR’s Loic Remy. Didier Drogba was added as well, but this was a free transfer.
These few players took Chelsea from a “little horse” to overwhelming title challengers. In fact, the Blues locked up their league title well before the season concluded.
The added talents of these players addressed key weaknesses in the squad. Each new member had a role to fill that had been previously missing in Chelsea’s squad.
At the time, the Blues squad had a strong defense, coming off a season where they were very tough to beat defensively. Filipe Luis provided comfortable cover for left-back.
However, attacking is where the West Londoners struggled, meaning the introduction of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas were that much more vital.
These additions allowed Chelsea to break down teams that stacked banks of defenders in front of them.
Overall, the improvements that Jose Mourinho and Chelsea made were the difference in their title run.
Now, the Blues find themselves in a similar situation. They are working toward putting together a title challenging team.
So far, they’ve added Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante. The two have addressed very pertinent needs in the Chelsea squad.
Kante represents exactly what the Blues needed in the midfield. They now have somewhat of an enforcer, a nonstop runner that is willing to make the necessary interceptions and tackles to protect the back four.
In Batshuayi, they have found a quality second striker, one brimming of potential and plays with a solid big frame. The Belgian scored for fun in Ligue 1 last season and the expectation is that he would continue to do so in the Premier League. So far, so good.
However, the two glaring holes in Chelsea’s squad are on the other side of the ball. Conte lacks a solid CB choice, with Terry and Cahill aging and Zouma not yet back from his ACL tear last season.
The other hole comes at full back, where the Blues have just 3 players for two spots, making an injury fatal to any title push (We’ve already seen what that could look like with Aina’s injury).
Furthermore, Aina is unproven at the senior level and Ivanovic is coming off of his worst season as a footballer.
Therefore, the Blues could be in serious trouble if they don’t make these 2 squad additions before the end of the transfer window.
However, make these 2 additions and all of a sudden, the Blues could be on the cusp of a title challenge.
It’s crazy to think that 2 signings have the Chelsea teetering in two polar opposite directions, but that’s exactly where Antonio Conte finds himself in the early months of his Stamford Bridge tenure. Let’s see whether he has the clout to get the job done.