Why Chelsea’s Disastrous Summer in the Market Is the Reason for the Opening Day Loss to Burnley

?Chelsea, right now, are enduring nothing short of a shambolic summer. 

With the Diego Costa saga, failure to sign Romelu Lukaku, the uninspiring signings of Willy Caballero and Antonio Rudiger, losing at home to Burnley on the opening day and the sale of Nemanja Matic to Man Utd, there is a lot of frustration amongst Chelsea fans. 

However, the biggest concern for supporters should be the club’s attitude towards their youth players. In this transfer window, Chelsea have sold Nathan Ake, Bertrand Traore and Nathaniel Chalobah, loaned out Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ola Aina, Kurt Zouma and Lewis Baker – and allowed Dominic Solanke to see out his contract to join Liverpool.

Liverpool v Athletic Club - Pre Season Friendly

Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in Europe. And with that comes the pressure of a fan base that demands success; be that winning the league and reaching the latter stages of European competition, or at the very least finishing in the Premier League’s top four.

With that considered, Antonio Conte cannot take too many risks with his team selection – or else he faces the sack from a trigger happy Roman Abramovich. Some of the dealings this summer, however, do feel bizarre. 

Selling Nathan Ake (22) for £20m and replacing him with Antonio Rudiger (24) for £34m is a puzzling one. Ake was very impressive in the first half of last season while out on loan at Bournemouth – showing he was ready for Premier League football – and he was arguably man of the match in the FA Cup semi final win over Spurs last season. 

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final

Rudiger is a German international and was solid in their Confederations Cup win this summer, so there’s no doubting his quality. He may prove to be a better short-term option for Chelsea because he has slightly more experience of playing top flight football, but therein lies the point; it seems to be short-term options that Chelsea keep taking.

It is difficult to complain about the way Chelsea have conducted their business in the Abramovich era considering all the success they have enjoyed in that time. But the failure to nurture young talent left Chelsea – prior to the start of the season – with a problem in the most crucial position on the pitch. At centre forward.


Conte laid down the law and booted out Costa (although he’s not actually managed to offload him yet), and that left Chelsea to choose from Michy Batshuayi and an injury prone Loic Remy, considering new record signing Alvaro Morata was lacking in sharpness.

Batshuayi’s Twitter is fantastic, but considering his lack of involvement last season, it’s doubtful that he has the quality to be relied upon by the Premier League champions. His hold up play in the weekend loss to Burnley left a lot to be desired. And as for Remy, who even remembered he was still on Chelsea’s books?

Morata couldn’t establish himself at Real Madrid and there is no guarantee he will turn out to be a prolific goalscorer. He did manage to score on his Premier League debut and looked very astute, but the question remains. 

Perhaps Chelsea could have given game time to Tammy Abraham or Dominic Solanke in the last few seasons instead of a returning Didier Drogba, a broken Radamel Falcao, a past it Samuel Eto’o or a never-had-it Alexandre Pato. And maybe now Chelsea would be in position with a young striker ready for the first team. 

Or maybe they could have kept Lukaku in the first place.

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It’s not just upfront where Chelsea are looking bare at the moment, though. Central midfield is another real problem for them; with only N’Golo Kante available for this weekend’s game against rivals Spurs following Cesc Fabregas’ dismissal at the weekend. Their summer offloads have left them short.

This is why Chelsea’s transfer business this summer has been met with ?confusion and ?anger by Chelsea fans. Chelsea are set to play a lot more games this season now they are back in the Champions League – and yet their squad is getting smaller.

The fact that the Premier League champions could end up paying the same fee for Danny Drinkwater as they brought in for Matic goes to show the state of desperation for new bodies in their first team squad. As of this point, it doesn’t bode well for the season ahead.



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