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Chelsea FC are now officially the only top 6 club in the Premier League without any first-team signings. They are actually part of only 3 clubs in the entire Premier League that have not signed a player, along with Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wonders. There is plenty of time left in the window, and Chelsea have been linked to some amazing players, but the lack of ambition might be worrying some fans.
In the 2021-2022 Premier League season, Chelsea finished third, finishing 18 points behind second place Liverpool, and 19 points behind first place Manchester City. They lost the FA Cup Final against Liverpool on penalties, as well as the Carabao Cup finals against Liverpool on penalties. They did manage to win the Club World Cup, beating Palmeiras 2-1 in extra time.
Chelsea did have a Russian owner that then led to the club being banned from agreeing new deals, transfers, and more but the club was bought on May 30, 2022 by the Boehly-Clearlake Consortium, and has been allowed to engage in contract discussion and transfers since that date. This put a set back on the internal work of the club in terms of planning transfers, giving out contracts, and other business they were banned from, but it has now been over a month since those rules were lifted, and Chelsea still lack more than one concrete transfer rumor.
Rivals getting to work
The other top 6 clubs have been busy this window, Tottenham Hotspurs have already signed Perisic, Forster, Bissouma, and Richarlison. Manchester United have signed Tyrell Malacia, Eriksen, and are deep in other deals, while Manchester City have signed Erling Haaland, Stefan Ortega, and Kalvin Phillips. Liverpool have also gone out and made a huge purchase, acquiring Darwin Nunez from Benfica, while also bringing in Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay. The last big 6 club is Arsenal, who have signed Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Matt turner, and Marquinhos from Sao Paulo.
Chelsea have had multiple major departures already this season, with key players and staff leaving the club.
Rudiger left on a free transfer to Real Madrid, as he was not interested in renewing his contract and staying with the London based club. The German International center-back is valued at $44M by Transfermarkt. Rudiger made 202 appearance for Chelsea, helping them win The FA cup, the Europa League, The Champions League, UEFA SuperCup and the FIFA Club World Cup, each being won once. This is a major loss for Chelsea, as the 29 year old has plenty of top level football left in his career, and Chelsea got nothing in return for his departure.
Christensen is another player that has left Chelsea on a free, signing with FC Barcelona in Spain. The 26 year old Denmark international made 160 appearances for Chelsea, and is currently valued at $38.50M by Transfermarkt. He was a part of the Chelsea squad for all the trophies listed above that Rudiger also won with the club, but Christensen had a lesser role making 42 less appearances overall. This is another tough loss for the blues, who could have cashed in over $80M on the two CBs had they extended their contracts a year or two ago.
Chelsea are now left with only one heavily experienced CB in the club, Thiago Silva, who is now 37 years old. The other center-backs in the club are Chalobah, Ampadu, Sarr, and Miazga, they will certainly need to be in the market for a new central defender this summer.
The Lukaku situation is probably the biggest mess right next to Paul Pogba leaving Manchester United for Juventus on a free transfer for the second time in his career. Lukaku was bought by Chelsea on August 12, 2021 from Inter Milan for $124M dollars. Lukaku has now been loaned back to Inter Milan, a 1 year loan with a fee of only $8.8M dollars. The 29 year old Belgian forward did not live up to his price tag and expectations, scoring only 15 goals, and assisting on 2 across 44 appearances in all competitions last season. Chelsea originally sold Lukaku to Everton back in 2014 for only $38M dollars, and his return to Chelsea was not what it was dreamed to be.
This is an off the pitch departure, but Petr Cech was the technical director at Chelsea FC. Cech, a club legend of Chelsea as a player, decided it was time for him to move on from his role at the club after the club was sold and internal changes were being made. Cech had a big role in transfers, and his departure certainly slows down the club in the transfer market even more.
A couple of others have departed Chelsea as well, Danny Drinkwater and Charly Musonda both left on free transfers, two others who could never find their form at Chelsea, and often just found themselves on loan season after season.
Summer transfer links
One of the craziest things of this window is that Chelsea FC have been linked to some of the biggest names in football, despite being very quiet this window. They have been linked to Brazilian winger Neymar from PSG, as well as unsettled Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, who is unhappy with the clubs ambition and lack of Champions League football. This makes the transfer link interesting because Chelsea are also showing a lack of ambition, but they do have Champions League football, and a pretty good squad currently. Chelsea were linked with Brazilian winger Raphinha, but it looks like he is on his way to Barcelona. According to Fabrizio, Chelsea were close to having a deal in place for Gabriel Slonina, with verbal agreement to a deal, but it may not happen with the departure of Chelsea’s technical director.
The transfer window is far from over with the Premier League not officially starting until Saturday August 6th, but pre-season has started for many clubs, and getting signings in early to get acclimated to the club’s culture and style of play is more important than it may seem.