Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku and Frank Lampard have left Chelsea this summer, as with most of the big teams this season seems to witness drastic changes to the big clubs. Hundreds of millions have been spent this summer by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, PSG, Bayern Munich and Roma. All these clubs are keen to establish themselves as the world’s best and they didn’t wait to start their transfer campaigns as we saw major signings even when the World Cup was still being played.
At Chelsea, the two Englishmen named above left because they are past their peak and perhaps they want to experience a new league before they retire while David Luiz and Lukaku left for substantial fees that would eventually allow Jose Mourinho to spend them elsewhere. The Blues wasted no time in finding replacements for them and even adding an option or two. Didier Drogba returned to his beloved club in addition to Atletico Madrid’s Spanish-Brazilian forward Diego Costa. Chelsea also added two more players from La Liga, Costa’s teammate Filipe Luis and former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
Mourinho’s failure to win the league last season was a reason for him to demand those changes and the appointment of Van Gaal at Manchester United meant that Manchester United are highly likely to return to the top four and Mourinho will not simply be passive when other teams are improving.
Although Chelsea’s backline is one of the most solid in the Premier League, they do lack depth in defense. The Blues have only five solid defenders as Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake are quite young and inexperienced to be substitutes for players like John Terry and Gary Cahill. Though, Chelsea has Branislav Ivanovic, a right back who can fill in the heart of defense when called upon. Filipe Luis will occupy the left back spot vacated by Ashley Cole while Cesar Azpilicueta is able to play on either side of the defense. A new signing in this department is a necessity, recently the name of Mehdi Benatia has been discussed in the media, but he could be quite expensive and unaffordable for Chelsea.
In the midfield Chelsea are stacked and have several options that allow them to adopt different formations and line-ups. Marco Van Ginkel, Ramires, Willian, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, Jon Obi Mikel, Marko Marin, Oscar and Eden Hazard will fight for five spots in a line-up in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation while Diego Costa can also play out wide in the 4-3-3 formation if one of Fernando Torres or Didier Drogba plays in the central striker spot, but it is highly likely that Costa will be the main man up front with both Hazard and Willian supporting him on either of the two wings while Cesc plays the number 10 role.
It’s another season and another chance for Mourinho at Chelsea, his midfield and attack look more solid than that of any other team in the Premier League especially after Liverpool lost their best player Luis Suarez. Chelsea’s solid additions will be outstanding throughout the season yet they still have the depth problem at the back, if Jose Mourinho focuses on winning the Premier League, he can but it will surely be at the expense of the Champions League and the domestic cups.
Do you think Chelsea will win the Premier League this season or will they focus on winning the Champions League?