Ex-Chelsea manager Avram Grant believes his former club’s summer signings make them favourites for the Premier League title.
Following last season’s third-place finish, Jose Mourinho has added Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, and Filipe Luis for a combined £75 million, with Blues legend Didier Drogba also making a shock return to Stamford Bridge.
Grant still thinks that there will be even more contenders for the title this season than last, but maintains that the club’s spending has put them ahead of their rivals on paper at least.
‘I think this year will be even more exciting because there are more teams on paper who will fight for the title,’ he told Sky Sports News.
‘Of course, there will be all the big teams who were there before. Liverpool joined again after so many years out of the race, so I think it will be a very exciting year.
‘Chelsea have a very good squad, Manchester City will have a very good squad, Manchester United will be back in the race, and there’s Arsenal and Liverpool. That’s enough, but even Tottenham have a good team.’
Chelsea have already seen several high-profile departures this summer, with Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba all leaving for pastures new, but Grant still sees their squad as the strongest in the league.
‘I think Chelsea have always been favourites over the last few years,’ he said. ‘You cannot spend so much money and not be favourites.
‘I don’t think Mr Abramovich is spending money like they did last year, but you don’t buy all these creative players if you don’t intend to be the champions. Of course, nobody can guarantee the title but they have to be favourites.
‘I think even last year they were the best team,’ he added. ‘Manchester City or Liverpool don’t have better players than Chelsea had. Chelsea had a good squad last year and this year, on paper, their squad is the best one.
‘No team has a Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar, but they have very good players.’