GRADING THE TRANSFER WINDOW OF CHELSEA: WINNING ON ALL FRONTS DESPITE A SLIGHT HICCUP
Chelsea had almost a perfect transfer window this summer. Despite bringing in just three players, among whom only one is a guaranteed starter, Thomas Tuchel’s side have reinforced their title credentials by a lot.
Chelsea Transfer Window:
Net Profit: €35m
Rate the window out of 10 👇 pic.twitter.com/SSdO0zZYIL
— Tom Overend (@tovers98) September 1, 2021
Furthermore, through some brilliantly worked out departures and loan deals, the Blues have managed to recuperate a lot of the money spent already. Last season’s UEFA Champions League winners will also be looking to make it out of a tricky group-stage, having been drawn with Juventus, Zenit and Malmo.
GROUP H of this season's @ChampionsLeague 🏆@ChelseaFC 🏴@juventusfc 🇮🇹 @fczenit_en 🇷🇺 @Malmo_FF 🇸🇪 #UCLdraw #ChampionsLeague #Chelsea #PremierLeague #Ronaldo #CR7 #Juventus pic.twitter.com/vtDpTDVfSx
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) August 26, 2021
In the Premier League, they have started the season with two wins and a draw after a fractious affair against Liverpool shorn them of a third consecutive win. FootTheBall takes a look at Chelsea’s transfer activity and how they performed overall.
MARCUS BETTINELLI (FULHAM) FREE
ROMELU LUKAKU (INTER MILAN)
SAUL NIGUEZ (ATLETICO MADRID) LOAN
The standout name in this list is obviously the return of the prodigal son Romelu Lukaku for £97m. Having left a decade earlier for pastures anew, Lukaku has developed into one of the most fierce strikers in the game. His pace, hold-up play, and deadly finishing helped Inter Milan to the Serie A title last season as Lukaku netted 24 times.
Romelu Lukaku stats last season for Inter Milan were very good!!!! pic.twitter.com/MqbW1z4ZNY
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) August 4, 2021
He was named the MVP of the league and his debut back in England was off to a flier. Lukaku bullied Pablo Mari and Rob Holding all match long in the derby against Arsenal. He scored once and had chances to add more too. In the most recent match, Lukaku had a subdued time but was still a handful for the Liverpool defence when he had the ball at his feet.
There is no doubt that Lukaku’s prolific nature will be key if Chelsea are to win silverware this season.
One of the most interesting moves of the Premier League was also one of its last. Spanish midfielder Saul’s loan deal for €5m is as filled with intrigue as it is with talent. Chelsea already have some of the best players in the position including N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 1, 2021
The addition of Saul further stacks up the options for Tuchel who now has the luxury of resting one of the above three more. Saul has not had the best of times recently as he admitted after the transfer but the fact that he wants a challenge by moving to London was clear. His talent and abilities have never been in doubt and if he gets back to his mercurial best this season, it will be beneficial to all parties involved.
Saul Niguez 2020/21
33 La Liga Appearances
(22 Starts, 11 Sub)
• 3 Goals
• 1 Assist
• 1.7 Tackles per Game
• 33.9 Passes per Game
• 84.4% Pass Completion
Honour – La Liga Champion 🏆 pic.twitter.com/fPtmVMWbEN
— Tom Overend (@tovers98) August 31, 2021
Bettinelli has been snapped up from second-division Fulham to provide cover for Eduoard Mendy and Kepa. Having released Willy Caballero and Jamal Blackman, this is a sensible bit of business by the team for additional depth in the position.
WILLY CABALLERO (RELEASED)
JAMAL BLACKMAN (RELEASED)
PIERRE EKWAH ELIMBY (WEST HAM)
FIKAYO TOMORI (AC MILAN)
IZZY BROWN (PRESTON)
LEVI COLWILL (HUDDERSFIELD) LOAN
NATHAN BAXTER (HULL) LOAN
CHARLIE WIGGETT (NEWCASTLE)
BILLY GILMOUR (NORWICH) LOAN
VICTOR MOSES (SPARTAK MOSCOW)
JUAN CASTILLO (BIRMINGHAM) LOAN
OLIVIER GIROUD (AC MILAN)
MARC GUEHI (CRYSTAL PALACE)
LEWIS BATE (LEEDS)
MYLES PEART-HARRIS (BRENTFORD)
DYNEL SIMEU (SOUTHAMPTON)
IAN MAATSEN (COVENTRY) LOAN
CONOR GALLAGHER (CRYSTAL PALACE) LOAN
TINO LIVRAMENTO (SOUTHAMPTON)
ARMANDO BROJA (SOUTHAMPTON) LOAN
TAMMY ABRAHAM (ROMA)
MICHY BATSHUAYI (BESIKTAS) LOAN
KENEDY (FLAMENGO) LOAN
EMERSON PALMIERI (LYON) LOAN
DAVIDE ZAPPACOSTA (ATALANTA)
IKE UGBO (GENK)
BABA RAHMAN (READING) LOAN
KURT ZOUMA (WEST HAM)
TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO (AC MILAN) LOAN
DANNY DRINKWATER (READING) LOAN
DUJON STERLING (BLACKPOOL) LOAN
KARLO ZIGER (RUDAR VELENJE) LOAN
MARCEL LEWIS (UNION SAINT-GILLOISE)
JAMIE CUMMING (GILLINGHAM) LOAN
HENRY LAWRENCE (WIMBLEDON) LOAN
THIERNO BALLO (RAPID VIENNA) LOAN
ETHAN AMPADU (VENEZIA) LOAN
TINO ANJORIN (LOKOMOTIV MOSCOW) LOAN
As evidenced from the list, it has been yet another busy window for Chelsea’s ‘loan-army.’ Talented youngsters like Billy Gilmour, Tino Anjorin, Armando Broja, Emerson, Kenedy and others have joined the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater in spending the season elsewhere.
Tino Anjorin heads to Russia on loan. 👇
Wishing him all the best for the season! 🤝
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 2, 2021
However, what has been most notable this time is the number of permanent sales that the Blues have made. Players on the verge of breaking through to the first-team or on the fringes have moved on for big money moves. Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi, Tammy Abraham, Davide Zappacosta, Kurt Zouma have all earned the club a substantial amount of fees.
Chelsea have had a busy transfer window when it comes to selling their players… 💰
Here are just some of their sales:
Tammy Abraham: €40m
Kurt Zouma: €30m
Fikayo Tomori: €29.2m
Marc Guehi: €23.3m pic.twitter.com/Hpi1C82Bkx
— EPL Bible (@EPLBible) August 29, 2021
Furthermore, a lot of players from the U23s have also left including Tino Livramento, Dynel Simeu, and Dujon Sterling. This has helped Chelsea balance the books a lot as the money spent on Lukaku has almost been brought back into the finances.
The reason for this being an “almost perfect” window is because of the fact that one of their chief targets stayed on at his parent club. French defender Jules Kounde had been earmarked by Tuchel to bolster their backline but differences over valuation saw the deal fall through.
— Express Sport (@DExpress_Sport) September 1, 2021
This in turn might open the door for promising defender Trevoh Chalobah to get more first-team minutes under his belt. As highlighted by us beforehand, centre-back was a pressing need for the Blues and they will now have to rely on Chalobah for sure, having also let Zouma go. In all other aspects, however, the club has indeed strengthened.
Zouma sold. No Kounde. Big season ahead for Chalobah & a great opportunity for him to cement himself into this Chelsea team.. pic.twitter.com/PwEnNNnpXS
— Conn (@ConnCFC) August 31, 2021
Their first priority of a striker was filled by Lukaku while Saul will give cover in the middle. Having also kept hold of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marcus Alonso, the latter being used extensively already, Tuchel will have a variety of options at his disposal given how their opponents have also added new faces.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 2, 2021
Conversely, the outgoings have also brought in money while not undermining the squad either. Overall, an extremely satisfactory window for everyone involved with the club.