Chelsea have enjoyed a relatively quiet summer following the arrival of Jose Mourinho for his second reign in charge at the club.
Chelsea acted quickly to sign good young players in the form of Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel, with Jose Mourinho seemingly very happy with the squad he’s inherited from the recently departed Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez.
Chelsea head into the new season with great expectation. They are one of the strongest sides when looking at the title challengers and they have secured back-to-back victories in Europe, which shows they are very efficient as far as European football is concerned.
Andre Schurrle arrived from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth just below the £20 million mark. He doesn’t have a prolific goalscoring record but he does look like a typically ‘English’ centre forward in the respect that he can dominate in that number nine role if Mourinho gives him the chance.
Marco van Ginkel was signed due to the partnership Chelsea enjoy with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem. He looks as though he could be a very useful midfielder for Chelsea in the new season after finding a little bit of form in pre-season but he’ll have to be patient because Chelsea are blessed in terms of midfield talent at the moment.
Mark Schwarzer has also been signed as goalkeeper cover for Petr Cech. Schwarzer said he didn’t have to think about the move and it’s a superb bit of business for the club considering the Australian’s experience.
Stipe Perica is an 18-year-old striker regarded as 'one for the future' along with Chilean teenager Cristian Cuevas.
Chelsea are still chasing Wayne Rooney and they could use a little bit of extra added quality up front. They have a good core pack of strikers but Mourinho will want to inject a little more experience into the attack of his squad, which will take the edge off of players like Schurrle and Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea will also need defensive cover if David Luiz is sold to Bayern Munich which would leave them shorter at the back than they already are. Ideally David Luiz will stay and the club will be able to bring in some cover for the back four, which will be stretched if key players pick up early season injuries.
Deals Missed Out On
Edinson Cavani is the big deal that Chelsea weren’t able to pull off. There was solid interest in the Uruguayan from Stamford Bridge but Napoli’s reluctance to meet in the middle saw him eventually go and sign for Paris Saint-Germain in France, who paid his buy-out clause of over £50 million.
David Luiz is one of the players who could leave the club because of those links with Bayern Munich. The reports have suggested that the German giants will come up with a fee of £40 million to sign the defender, which some at Chelsea may think is too good an offer to turn down.
Lucas Piazon is also due to leave the club on loan ahead of the new season. The Brazilian has said he thinks he needs to get more experience under his belt despite being part of Chelsea’s pre-season plans. Liverpool have been suggested as a possible club and while Chelsea aren’t short on midfielders it could be a good move for the youngster.
Fernando Torres is being linked with a high profile, big money move to Spanish La Liga side Valencia. They seem to have singled him out as the replacement for Roberto Soldado and reports have suggested they will pay as much as £25 million to get him.
In terms of Chelsea’s budget, they don’t have any issues or worries. Roman Abramovich will always back his managers and put his money where his mouth is, which means if there is a player Chelsea want before the close of the summer transfer window, they will more than likely get their man.
However, the Cavani example shows they are now thinking more along the lines of trying to get good value, which is positive because it means they’re unlikely to get pushed around in the transfer market.
Chelsea have a very good blend of youth and experience in their squad at the moment, with the emphasis towards giving younger players with a point to prove a chance to succeed. If they pull off the signing of Rooney from Manchester United they will be in an even better position next season on all fronts.
image: © Jason Bagley