Chelsea managed to reduce their transfer ban to just one transfer window following a successful appeal to the ourt of Arbitration but Blues fans were left disappointed after the club made no January signings.
“What is the point of the appeal then?” a lot of Chelsea fans might ask after January passed with no additions.
In the plus side, their appeal halved the fine from the initial 600,000 to 300,000 Swiss francs (£230,000) (BBC Sport). Although it is likely Chelsea spent even more than that in legal fees for the appeal alone.
Some Chelsea fans were understandably unhappy with the situation.
Fortunately, Hakim Ziyech’s transfer announcement in February has scaled down the criticism towards the club’s board.
But James Olley, the chief football correspondent for the Evening Standard, said it was not for lack of trying from the club.
He wrote in the Evening Standard: “January is a notoriously difficult trading window and, not unexpectedly, none of Chelsea’s preferred summer targets were available.
“The short-term options were either very expensive (Edinson Cavani) or reluctant to leave (Dries Mertens) and so a decision was taken to wait until the summer.
“Lampard wasn’t entirely happy about it but the move is in line with the longer-term aim of trying to be more financially prudent.”
The lack of January signings may pose a threat to Chelsea’s top-four target. Manchester United have had a major performance boost after bringing in Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo and are now only three points behind in fifth.
But considering the targets mentioned (Cavani and Mertens), Chelsea may have made the better decision by focusing on long-term targets such as Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho or RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner in the summer.