TCC View: Chelsea may be paying price for new owners' transfer policy
Chelsea may be paying the price of their more open transfer strategy with Graham Potter having to manage the fitness of veterans even in big matches.
The Blues manager are currently dealing with quite a few injuries, particularly among his defenders.
In Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United, three defenders; Reece James, Wesley Fofana, and Kalidou Koulibaly, were out.
Having started the game with a back three, Potter did not even have any centre-back on the bench. It was obviously risky.
Speaking about Koulibaly’s absence, Potter said that the Senegal international sustained a knee injury in Wednesday’s clash against Brentford.
“We lost Koulibaly, so you can’t play him then you’ve got a couple of players returning who recovered against Brentford,” the manager told Sky Sports after the game on Saturday (via Metro).
“Thiago couldn’t play in midweek, so it’s a case of managing the load and managing the games and picking a team that can be competitive and win the game, hopefully.”
James and Fofana’s injuries are rather unfortunate, but Silva and Koulibaly’s are somewhat expected for older players.
Even if Silva and Koulibaly had not picked up any injury, Potter would still have had to manage their workload as the manager himself pointed out.
Considering these two’s importance to the team, however, this means it is very difficult for Potter to maintain a consistent defensive line.
The new Chelsea ownership group’s more openness to signing players over the age of 30, at least compared to Roman Abramovich, while not necessarily bad, has its downside.
Silva, on a free transfer, was an outlier in Abramovich’s era. Meanwhile, the ownership group was not hesitant to invest in Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Trevoh Chalobah’s fine form, as well as Kepa Arrizabalaga’s resurgence, has been crucial amid these injury problems, but still, Potter will have to continue shuffling his defence, which means a lack of stability.