It doesn’t stop. This rollercoaster of being a Chelsea fan will continue until the end of time. I’m sure of it. Last week I was happy, at least for part of it. Then I wasn’t because we can’t sign anyone. Then I was again as I looked at our squad. Then I wasn’t. Conte is pissed off. Chelsea fans are pissed off. We’ve known what we have needed for months and we are seemingly no closer to getting it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Conte decided to leg it before summer is out. And the board apologists can do one as well.
So, anyway, instead of looking at what we don’t have. Let’s focus on the positives and look at what we do have. We are about to be 50m richer from the sale of Matic, which commercially is wonderful business. In terms of squad strength though, that’s another story.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know loads about him. I’m not a Chelsea fan that professes to watch all of our loan players play in all of their games. I don’t know that there are enough hours in the day for that. What I do know is that he is an X factor type player. He is able to beat a man and inject a bit of forward movement into our midfield. He could play either side of the midfield as well as either forward position. Possessing dribbling ability and pace as well as the technique that comes from growing at Chelsea, he is someone we should be keeping around and giving more minutes to this season.
I don’t know that there’s a player that divides opinion as much amongst Chelsea fans as the lanky Spaniard. For some, he is slow, terrible on the ball and has crap hair, and for others, he possesses wonderful delivery, offers an outlet and has lovely part-curls. For me, he is in the middle. Whilst I appreciate his technical ability and his desire, he’s a smidge on the slow side for me which leaves us vulnerable against tricky, pacy wingers. He was beaten too easily a few times last season against the bigger teams and was caught wanting in possession when faced with a press. He is good in the air nonetheless and his delivery is fantastic. His pace is a big issue though and Conte seems to feel the same, with bids for Alex Sandro peppered at Juve all summer. A very good squad player for me.
I’ve written a scout report dedicated to the big man just before he joined where I waxed lyrical. He is without doubt an upgrade on Matic and he and Kante will form a formidable midfield. It honestly feels bad moaning about transfers when we will have Kante and Baka teaming up this season. Strong on the ball and in the tackle, he is almost like a young Yaya Toure, able to ghost past players whilst being a wall himself. His ability to receive the ball on the half turn should not be unappreciated, receiving the ball from Luiz, taking it past an attacker and setting us on our way is preferable to me vs passing it back to Luiz and watching him pass to Gary Cahill only for the latter to invariably shank it out of play. He will add dynamism to our midfield as well as pace. I for one can’t wait to see him pull on a Chelsea shirt.
Saved the best til last. The best midfielder in the league, without a doubt. At a shade over 30m, he will always be one of the best ever signings in the Premier League era. He was wonderful for Leicester and from December 2015 I was adamant I wanted him. 7 months later, it was confirmed, We had signed the best in the league and he was the biggest reason for our success last season. Even in the early games he made such a difference to our midfield. Fabregas, Matic, Mikel, Lampard, Ballack. It had been so long since we had so much movement in our midfield. He is almost a cross between Essien and Makelele for me, able to bomb up and down whilst possessing a fantastic ability to nick the ball from the opposition.
When he joined I was unaware as to how good he was going forward. His cross field balls are a joy to watch, he rarely misplaces a pass. We have the best defensive midfielder in the league as well as one who doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to the attacking side of the game. He probably should shoot a tad less than he does though. He and Baka have the ability to be our best ever midfield and that makes me smile. You can take your Pogba’s, Matic’s, Henderson’s, Ramsey’s and Dembele’s. We have the best in the league.
That’s cheered me up a bit. Just don’t mention our pre season results, or the fact that we still need at least four players…. oh..