It’s been over 2 years or to be more exact 799 days since Didier Drogba sunk that ball into the bottom corner at the Bayern end in Munich to win Chelsea its greatest and most sought after prize of all time, the club’s proclaimed ‘Holy grail’, the UEFA Champions League. We thought that was the end of the chapter for him in the club’s books but then reports started linking him with a return to Chelsea and not as a coach like we thought at first, a player. But regardless of what he is returning as it’s really hard for a Chelsea fan not to get excited.
Jose Mourinho’s claim that Chelsea have now finished their summer spending may just leave some fans concerned there is still not enough frontline depth at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season. Diego Costa was always Mourinho’s top forward target and his arrival from Atletico Madrid was wrapped up weeks ago after a near six-month long pursuit. Some predicted the deal would include Fernando Torres heading back to his old club but the fact he has stayed at Chelsea means Torres is likely to be given at least one more season to rediscover his best form in Blue. Fans will hope he can find it because Mourinho does not, at the minute at least, have many more options.
With the attention of the rest of the footballing world still split between the World Cup final, what Suarez will add to Barcelona now that he has signed for them, and Arsenal’s successful pursuit of Alexis Sanchez, Chelsea are pursuing their own remaining transfer targets with quiet determination.
The hunt for Ashley Cole’s replacement now appears to be all but over, with the English media reporting that a fee has now been agreed with Atletico Madrid for left-back Felipe Luis. The metro newspaper puts it at £20 million, which is slightly higher than the estimates of Luis’s buy-out clause – and effectively means Chelsea have decided not to quibble over a couple of million pounds.
Much of the post-match debate about how exactly Brazil contrived to lose so badly to Germany has centred on the role of one man – former Chelsea favourite David Luiz. It seems that his performance–come–walkabout at the centre of the Brazilian defence (well, theoretically at the centre, if not in practice) was the one single reason why his team crashed out of the World Cup.
But was that really the case? It’s true that he looked lost as the German strikers waltzed through the Brazilian defence for the second goal. It’s true he ambled back carelessly for the fourth, was missing for the fifth, and allowed Andre Schurrle to drift across him for the sixth. It’s true that he was supposed to be marshalling the back four, the senior defender in Thiago Silva’s absence.
After finishing in 7th place in the FA Women’s Super League 1 (FAWSL 1) last season, just one place above the relegation spot, Chelsea FC decided to invest a bit more this time in the ladies department. Emma Hayes continued as Chelsea Ladies manager but there was a mass exodus of players from the club and also, fresh arrivals of high profiled players, of course, from various corners around the world.
For the last few years, Chelsea have actively pursued a strategy of harvesting up talented youngsters from around the globe and trying to develop them into first-teamers of the future – or, if they don’t make the grade at Chelsea, into saleable assets that bring in a bit of profit and help ease the Financial Fair Play restrictions on the club.
Now two more talented teenagers look set to be added to the club’s stable – Croatia’s young sensation Mario Pasalic and French wonderkid Adrien Rabiot. One, in fact, has already signed – Pasalic was unveiled by the Blues today after completing a move from Croatian side Hadjuk Split.
And then there was one. Three more Chelsea players exit the World Cup, leaving just Andre Schurrle, following Brazil’s shock exit at the hands of Germany. As the host nation licks its wounds from the 7-1 defeat – the biggest and most humiliating semi-final loss in the tournament’s history – Blues fans will be wondering whether it could have been avoided if Big Phil Scolari had trusted his Chelsea players a bit more.
There is a growing feeling among Chelsea fans that RomeluLukakumay have developed an inflated idea of his own importance. Whether it’s because he’s now a World Cup player, or because he’s reportedly wanted by a handful of Champions League teams, is unclear. But what IS quite clear is that he now thinks the decision about his future is his to make.
The Belgian striker has told journalists that he will decide which club he will play for next season, just as soon as he’s finished his post-World Cup holiday. One thing he is adamant about is that he won’t go anywhere on loan – it’s a permanent move or nothing. “I am 21 and I have been loaned out for the last two seasons,” he complained, “What I don’t want is to be loaned out again.”
Chelsea appear intent on making Filipe Luis as their next major signing of the summer. The blues have already brought in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa for more than £50 million. After a season without any major trophy, Jose Mourinho is under pressure to deliver some silverware in the upcoming season. The duo of Fabregas and Costa are expected to form bulk of the restructuring at Stamford Bridge.
The future of French midfielder Paul Pogba grows curiouser and curiouser. He’s the subject of intense transfer speculation, which is likely to become even more intense now that he and France have exited the World Cup.
The possibility of a deal for the Juventus player has already attracted Chelsea’s attention – and the Blues would be one of the few clubs in the world who would be able to meet the Italians’ valuation. It’s thought it would cost around £60 million to prise Pogba out of Turin.