It’s been another frantic transfer deadline day, with managers up and down the country squeezing the best possible price out of clubs for their players right up until the 11pm BST deadline. For many clubs, this has been a fantastic summer, whilst for other clubs, the loss of key players could spark a demise. Below, I will focus on Chelsea’s transfer activity this summer:
Thibaut Courtois (Genk, £8m): a highly promising goalkeeper who will no doubt be one to replace Petr Cech when he decides to call it a day. The immediate loan to Atletico Madrid will do no harm, providing him with valuable experience to fill in the boots left by Big Pete, as mentioned.
Oriol Romeu (Barcelona, £4.35m): Another young signing by Andre Villas-Boas, clearly indicative of his thoughts for the club’s future. A splendid buy too, as Oriol is the defensive-midfielder Chelsea desperately need to cover the injured Michael Essien. A touch on the young side perhaps, Romeu will no doubt get some match experience.
Romelu Lukaku (Anderlecht, £18m): Another one for the future who Chelsea could do with right now. Menacing and Drogba-esque, this Belgian will terrorise defenders and having physically matured so early on at just 19, there is plenty more from him to come.
Juan Mata (Valencia, £26.5m): A world-class performer who has really excelled in Valencia ever since the two Davids, Villa and Silva, left. One linked with Arsenal all summer, but having scored on his debut just 27 minutes in, this is a signing Chelsea fans will get excited about, adding a touch of gloss and creativity.
Ulises Davila (Chivas Guadalajara, £2m): Like Courtois, one certainly for the future. An attacking midfielder, he could step into the shoes of Frank Lampard when he calls it a day. A loan to Vitesse Arnhem will certainly let him understand European football more.
Raul Meireles (Liverpool, £12m): The deadline-day transfer that was back-up to the Luka Modric plan, which never went close given Daniel Levy’s stance. A tidy signing that will not excite, but will no doubt be important to Chelsea, given the fact Raul can play just about anywhere in midfield, in the holding role or maybe even to provide some respite for Frank Lampard going forward. Having spent a little bit of time with our manager, Andre Villas-Boas will certainly want to get the best out of him.
Lucas Piazon (to arrive in January, fee up to £8m): Another one for the future, this Brazilian youth international was snapped up in January from Sao Paolo, the club that produced Kaka, but due to his age, he can only be a Chelsea player when he turns 18, which will be in January.
Whilst I have been through the coming ins, why not take a look at the players Chelsea let go of, on loan or permanently. Surprisingly, no huge names left, with the likes of Malouda, Anelka or Kalou rumoured to be in the firing line.
Players out: Michael Mancienne (Hamburg, £3m*), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan), Gokhan Tore (Hamburg, undisclosed), Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg, season loan), Jack Cork (Southampton, £750,000*),Fabio Borini (Parma, free), Yury Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala, £13.2m*), Slobodan Rajkovic (Hamburg, undisclosed), Ulises Davila (Vitesse Arnham, season loan), Patrick van Aanholt (Wigan, season loan), Gael Kakuta (Bolton, loan), Yossi Benayoun (Arsenal, season loan).
So another thoroughly entertaining transfer deadline day for Chelsea fans. Having strengthened in midfield and attack and looking forward into the future, the prospects of the “old” Chelsea rejuvenating into a “younger” Chelsea, guided by the young coach that is Andre Villas-Boas, is very much on the cards.