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Chelsea’s transfer window: Roman splurges in pursuit of Premier League title

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Chelsea are going through something of a transitional period, as a number of older heads have left Stamford Bridge to be replaced by young pretenders. Roman Abramovich splurged in excess of £80 million in revamping the Blues’ squad this summer, with the Russian oil tycoon conducting all his business before the panic of transfer deadline day. A new striker was the only thing that escaped the Champions League winners, but Roberto Di Matteo has a star-studded squad to select from, and will be given the task of achieving silverware this term.

In

Chelsea’s biggest expense this summer comes in the form of the £32 million signing of Eden Hazard. The Belgian attacking midfielder was being tracked by all of Europe’s top clubs, and his decision to move to west London was in preference to a switch to either of the Manchester clubs. The former Lille winger has started his career at Stamford Bridge sensationally, with his pace, skill and eye for a killer pass delighting the club’s fans. The 21-year-old will be a major weapon for the Blues this term, and has also been joined in England by his brother, Thorgan Hazard.

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The Blues were eager to add creativity to their midfield, and have done so with the signing of promising Brazilian youngster Oscar. The playmaker has already made his debut for the senior Brazil team despite his tender age of 20, and showed glimpses of what he can do for his nation at the Olympics. The £20 million-plus fee dished out by Roman Abramovich to bring the South American to England shows a huge leap of faith, but the ex-Internacional man certainly has ability in spades.

One of the first signings for Chelsea was the capture of Germany international Marko Marin, who confirmed a move to London before the end of last season. The former Werder Bremen man has potential in droves, and is highly regarded in his homeland, however had an injury-prone campaign in 2011-12. Still to make his debut for his new club due to lack of fitness, Marin has the ability to be a superstar and an important part of Chelsea’s attacking play, but must shake-off his injury niggles first.

Another young talent moving to the Champions League holders is Victor Moses, who is rewarded for impressive performances for Wigan over the last 12 months. The Nigeria international cost a fee of around £8 million, and will provide versatility for Di Matteo, as he could be deployed as a winger or in attack. The 21-year-old will have to knuckle down and work hard to get time on the pitch given the attacking quality in the squad and was an unused sub in Friday night’s 4-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup.

A new right-back was also on the hitlist, and despite an interest in Maicon and Matthieu Debuchy, the Blues opted to sign Cesar Azpilicueta from Marseille. The young Spaniard has impressed in France over the last 24 months, despite a long-term cruciate injury, and played for Spain in their ill-fated Olympics campaign. Azpilicueta will vie for a starting berth with Branislav Ivanovic and Paulo Ferreira, and adds to the Spanish contingent at the club and in the Premier League.

Finally, Chelsea have snapped up promising Belgian attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, but similar to countryman Thibaut Courtois has been farmed out on loan to further his development; the winger will spend the 2012-13 season at Werder Bremen.

Out

The most considerable departure from west London this summer has been the exit of Didier Drogba after eight years leading the line for the club. The African hitman has opted to start a new adventure in China with Shanghai Shenhua, and has not been replaced in the squad with an out-and-out forward, despite extreme speculation in the tabloids. Drogba’s boots will need to be filled by Fernando Torres, who has shown improved form this term so far, but the only area that Chelsea are potentially light is in attack.

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Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou have also left the club this summer on free transfers, with the duo switching to QPR and Lille respectively. Chelsea have not sold any players outright, but along with De Bruyne have sent a number of players out on loan. Promising talent Josh McEachran will spend the season at Middlesbrough, Gael Kakuta has switched to Vitesse Arnhem temporarily, Yossi Benayoun returned to former club West Ham and Romelu Lukaku will look to gain Premier League experience at West Brom.

The only deal of note on transfer deadline day involved Michael Essien, who despite reported interest from Arsenal joined former boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal. The Ghana international has not shown the form of old since recovering from long-standing injuries, but can expect his first-team opportunities at the Santiago Bernabeu to be fleeting given Los Blancos’ strength in depth in the centre of the park.

Chelsea fans will be encouraged by the activity in the transfer market this summer and the domestic start to 2012-13. Young talents have to now prove themselves to be good enough to compete at this level and justify considerable transfer fees, but the Blues squad is looking strong. That said, an injury to Fernando Torres could leave the side short of centre forwards, as speculated moves for the likes of Hulk, Edinson Cavani and Andre Schurrle did not materialise in the end.

Comments (13)

  1. I didn’t seen anytin bad, loosin against Atletico. Wen u re rebuild a team with a new style, u most xpect much strange attack. Our new style of football wil soon be a great one. Up blue, i wil remain chelsea til i die.

  2. I regret being a fan of Chelsea! In spite their spending spree this season, they could not buy a single striker. As far as I am concern, Chelsea may not win any silverware this season. Do they even think that Torres is not prone to injury? and if it happens… will they rely on that selfish boy called ‘Sturridge’? Look at what they played against Athletic Madrid? People can see clearly that we don’t have any versatile/energetic player upfront. I am weeping for Chelsea.

    I don’t see David Luiz staying longer in Chelsea, the guy is a gambler and too irascible. Lampard is also diminishing while Ramirez is becoming too boring with his ‘selfish game style’.

    The only guy that was highly useful in that game between Chelsea and Athletic Madrid was an outstanding Mikel Obi and fairly Hazard. Even Petr Cech was too heavy to move fastly.

    Truly, Chelsea has the Money but unfortunately they are wasteful and not judicious enough with their money. I am disappointed in Chelsea. Turmbull and Hilario are just collecting salary without being used and yet the one and almost the best Coutois was loaned out. Now if Cech and Torres are injured, will there be any hope for Chelsea upfront and at the poll?

    I am totally fagged out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. chelsea is really in need of two prolific strikers to fill d space left by departed didier and to provide stiff competitn for torres upfront

  4. It was very clear that Chelsea do not have a striker. We can’t rely on Torres. Everyone can see the difference between Falcao and Torres yesterday. Very painful, we didn’t sign a striker. A hat trick from a striker yesterday. A striker can personally change a game. That is the nature of Drogba and Falcao. Please, call Torres a mid fielder.

  5. Can you imagine a Coach proving strange to a player.That is what the Special-one will never admit.Anyway,we are just rebuilding with a new style.Chelsea fans should exercise patient and mgt should try and create competition among the players.

  6. chelsea is realy need stricker but now pls rdm let moses strick 4 chelsea b’cos torres is not a complete stricker now pls

  7. I’m vry disapointed wit David Luis and Torres.the players dat performed his duty was Mike and Hazard. RDM fail to talk to his guy.Finally,there is no single striker sign this summer to replace the legend ‘Drogba’.

  8. What is the problem dis coach with is stupid wrong 4231 formation that his using all dis days i can see dat he has under rate athletico madrid that his why he fucked up and he has make chelsea lose two trophies dis season. So what is d assurance that chelsea will win world club cup in december and other domestic cups in Premiership. He must be very careful from now or else.if chelsea should lose some big matches in d league like man-utd our rival mancity spur or arsenal abramovich will fire him without remedy.he will be sacked if he won no trophy for chelsea b4 d end of the season despite all d money dat has been spent on d team for d new players they sign.

  9. We,never,give,up,cfc.wil,stile,make,us,prout.

  10. i hope falcao is captured in january. cf should have hope on rdm till january please

  11. No need rattling about,d truth is clear 4 any sensible person 2 c,we r rebuildin frm d bully we used 2 b to a young talentd side dat wud play wif flair,skill & decent wif d ball but if it dont work? Ofcos RDM losses his job which i forbid but if it works out,we all clap & cheer d nu special 1 which i pray it manifest. But d truth b told,lampard is too poor 2 b startin 4 Chelsea,Torres cant b Drogba,we need anoda high class attacker upfront lik united did wif RVP,luiz can b silly let him warm d bench 2 enable his head butt propaly,mayb cesar got pace bcos ivanovic is heavy 4 a right full back & cech’s calculations on d ball & opposing strikaz is very poor,he shud go back 2 d drawin board & solve calculus. Mikel,finally d big man in d pack,hazard got 2 unleash his toxics fast,pre-season had long gone,& ashley still realiabe,cahill? Hmmm,i’ll rate him ok but 4 ramires,tym 4 him 2 learn hw 2 pass d ball,olympics had gone so he shud quit his track & feild style of play,if we r interestd in speed we’ll sign bolt.
    Lastly,pls my fellow fans,dont write off Chelsea,wen we had nofin we liftd up UCL & u tink now wif dez squard we r doom? U must b silly or sick in d head 2 tink lik dat,Up CHELSEA!!!!! 4EVA.