Following our review of Chelsea’s fantastic transfer business earlier in the week, here is a more in depth look at the five incoming players. We know that Chelsea near enough broke even in their transfer moves, but they still spent well over £80million. So just what have the Blues got for that outlay?
Cesc Fabregas – £27m
Chelsea’s first summer signing, the former Arsenal captain looked set to return to his previous club when Barcelona put him up for sale. But, when the Gunners turned down the chance to sign the midfielder Chelsea emerged as favourites and landed the Spaniard for the knockdown price of £27million. Fabregas can play a range of positions, from defensive midfield all the way up to a false nine role.
For his price and versatility he’s a great signing, but Chelsea weren’t looking for a false nine or another holding player, they wanted a midfield playmaker. Fabregas fits that role and then some. He’s proved that in the opening few games. With Nemanja Matic, Ramires and John Obi Mikel, Chelsea had a strong, pacey midfield but they needed guile. Fabregas is the man who can thread passes through for Chelsea’s forwards, and he’s part of the reason that Diego Costa has adapted so easily after his switch from Atletico. While Costa gets the headlines, Fabregas is arguably the signing of the summer.
Diego Costa – £32m
A move for Costa was in the works since the start of 2014, when Jose Mourinho elected to wait to sign him in the summer, instead of signing a new forward in January. Chelsea met Costa’s £32million release clause early in the window but the transfer was drawn out, and Costa was eventually confirmed in the middle of July.
Costa’s arrival has brought Chelsea the thing they lacked last season, a reliable goalscorer, a world class number nine. Many asked if the Brazil-born Spaniard was up to it, given Chelsea’s track record at buying strikers, but he’s shown that he’s more than capable of leading the line in the Premier League. He’s started off with four goals in three games, and you can bet there’s more to come.
Filipe Luis – £15.8m
Chelsea’s third signing also came from Atletico, with Filipe Luis coming in to fill the void left by Ashley Cole. Cole lost his place to Cesar Azpilicueta last season, and then left the club after eight years on a free transfer. With just Azpilicueta, a right back by trade, to fill the left back slot, reinforcements were needed. Luis came in at £15.8million, and added quality in a position where Chelsea looked light.
Luis still hasn’t got his chance in the Chelsea team as yet, but that’s not really his fault. The impressive form of Azpilicueta and the exceptional performances of Branislav Ivanovic mean they are the first choice full backs at the minute, and Mourinho isn’t likely to change them unless he has good reason to. Given how he played for Atletico last season, he should fit in well when he’s given the chance and again, his signing was a highly targeted one in a position where the Pensioners were lacking.
Didier Drogba – £0
After the departures of Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, and with Romelu Lukaku looking for a move, Mourinho brought back club legend Didier Drogba on a free from Galatasaray. Bringing him back divided many fans, with some wanting to preserve his final act in a Chelsea shirt, the winning penalty in Munich in 2012. That being said, the welcoming he got on his return against Leicester shows that many are happy he’s back.
Drogba is a fantastic addition to the Blues new look front line. While he isn’t the same player that lit up the Bridge in his glory days, he’s still a quality striker. He will add a lot to the side when called upon and as a third choice striker he’s a fantastic option. On top of that, he’ll be a great influence in the dressing room, especially since Cole and Frank Lampard have left. Drogba can be a leader, and an experienced head for Costa both to lean on and learn from
Loic Remy – £10.5m
After finishing their transfer business in July, August looked like it was going to be a quiet month for the Blues. That was until Fernando Torres secured a move to AC Milan on loan for the last two years of his contract, and left the Blues with just Costa and Drogba up front. They quickly dipped back in the market and replaced him with Loic Remy, who cost £10.5million from QPR.
Remy is a different kind of striker from Costa and Drogba, given that he’s pacey and a great finisher. He’s a more technical footballer than the other two, and he looks like good value at that price. Given that he has scored goals in the Premier League, both for QPR and Newcastle on loan last season, he should fit in right away. He’s likely to come in as second choice ahead of Drogba, and he’s a big improvement on Torres. Given Costa’s record of hamstring injuries, Remy will likely be called upon quite a few times this season and he’s a welcome addition to the squad.
After addressing their problems, sorting their business early and buying in proven, reliable players, Chelsea have done fantastically in the market this summer. The players have had time to bed in during pre-season, and that has shown in the early games. It’s early days, but the Blues look to have handled the transfer market masterfully, not least because their net outlay was minimal, largely thanks to the sale of David Luiz.