Chelsea’s summer so far has been a mixed one.
The signings of Michy Batshuayi and N’golo Kante look like excellent additions, but the general response to their window is that they have failed. Investment in glaringly weak areas of their squad has been non-existent and they are at risk of falling away from any title challenge again.
Antonio Conte must be aware of what the Blues need. It’s clear for all to see, whether you’re a Football Manager player or a UEFA A Licensed coach.
After the fanfare around Paul Pogba’s transfer, the annual questioning of Arsene Wenger’s position and Hull’s shock start to the season, we are destined to see a fiery end to this window. Clubs are beginning to reach the point of over-paying in desperation and it can’t be far away.
Chelsea are showing a concern for being ripped off this summer, as they did 12 months ago, but one would imagine that is about to change.
If they fancy delving into Abramovich’s deep, deep pockets, these are the FOUR roles they must reinforce…
Chelsea’s hunt for a centre-back over the last two seasons has been pretty disastrous. Michael Hector has been loaned again, Papy Djilobodji has been sold and John Terry is another year older, now creaking with every tackle.
They’ve missed out on John Stones, as their desperation for a long-term ball-playing centre-half to partner Kurt Zouma grows.
The options are out there, don’t worry about that, it’s just a case of stumping up the necessary gargantuan fees.
Pedro has failed as a signing for Chelsea so far. The former Barcelona man looks off the pace, he has too often been anonymous in a blue shirt and injuries have consistently hampered his match fitness.
With Juan Cuadrado set for the exit door and Willian still suffering from disappointing goal and assist numbers, Chelsea need another threat from that side of the pitch.
Compared to the mesmerising Eden Hazard on the left, Conte’s side look blunt down the right. Whether they opt for a wide playmaker who will drift centrally, or someone to hold the width (which would probably be a better option) a signing is needed.
The demise of Branislav Ivanovic has been well documented and the Serbian defender has continued to disappoint at the start of this season. Against Watford, his poor positional play allowed Capoue to score and his lack of pace makes him extremely limited when going forward.
Cesar Azpilicueta should return to the right side of defence, where he can overlap more freely, meaning Chelsea need a new left-back.
Conte, if he sticks with 4-3-3, will prioritise his full-backs to defend, but any potential signing must have the energy to put in a lot of work down the flank.
Michy Batshuayi and Diego Costa can both play the powerful, back to goal role that Antonio Conte often demands from his strikers. However, if he is to occasionally use a front two, they will need additionally striking depth.
The loan of Bertrand Traore to Ajax raised eyebrows and immediately threw up questions of the Blues signing another forward.
Conte will need another option for the number nine berth and this, ideally, would be someone with extra pace to challenge behind defences. Neither Costa nor Batshuayi will be sprinting away from defenders and, with Pedro struggling, the Blues lack places who will force a back line to turn.