Why Chelsea’s Lack of January Signings Is Actually Positive for the Future (Honest)

?Chelsea fans were left outraged when they woke up on 1 February to realise that the club had actually failed to sign a single senior player in the January transfer window.

The protracted legal battles and appeals to overturn the transfer ban suggested that the Blues were desperate to make a splash in the market, while ?Frank Lampard himself made noises about the need for more firepower. Yet, all faxes sent and received, the Blues ended up with just the addition of 16-year-old Norwegian forward Bryan Fiabema.


Lampard was right to label his side as ‘underdogs’ for the top four after failing to strengthen. However, if you look closely, you’ll see how the lack of business is actually a great thing for Chelsea.

Since Roman Abramovich’s money arrived at Stamford Bridge, ?Chelsea have rarely been scared of signing players. Whether that’s breaking the world record for a goalkeeper or dropping a five-figure sum on a random teenager who’ll never get near the first team, the Blues love spending money.

That has worked against them far too often in the past. The trigger-happy approach to transfers has seen astronomical flops rock up at the Bridge because club officials simply haven’t thought things through.

In the early years, the likes of Steve Sidwell and Andriy Shevchenko flew the flag for pointless signings, and things have only got worse. Radamel Falcao, Davide Zappacosta and Tiemoué Bakayoko have continued the trend, and please don’t get me started on Danny Drinkwater.

Danny Drinkwater

Even on a smaller scale, there were players like Michael Hector and Papy Djilobodji, both of whom came and went with little more than a whimper.

Those signings did not improve the squad. They actually made it significantly weaker. If you can’t spend money right, then don’t spend at all.

That brings us to January. It’s well known that Chelsea had their list of targets to work through. Jadon Sancho, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell were thought to be towards the top of the wish list, but all three were understandably unavailable midway through the season. 

In the past, Chelsea would have responded to that by throwing money at B-listers who were available – like they did with ?Gonzalo Higuaín last year. The squad would not improve, and all that would happen is Chelsea’s bank balance would go down.

Jadon Sancho

Let’s look at an example of how things have changed. The Blues’ search for a striker was well-publicised all month, and they got to 31 January without finding one. It was then highlighted by ?Matt Law that Chelsea had been offered the chance to sign Dalian Yifang’s Salomón Rondón.

Had this been 2015, or even 2019, Chelsea might have accepted that. But it’s 2020, and Chelsea only want to actually improve the side, so they swiftly rejected the proposal.

Taking such a stance means Chelsea saved money, so they will be ready to party once the summer window comes around.

The aforementioned trio of Sancho, Werner and Chilwell could all be available for the right price, and Chelsea have the money to afford at least two of them, if not all three. They did not waste money and squad space on deadwood signings.

Timo Werner

The lack of action in January was the only way to facilitate an expensive summer. 

Admittedly, it was a huge risk not to pursue any short-term options. All this optimism depends on Chelsea actually qualifying for the ?Champions League, but if the Blues can reach Europe’s top competition, then the rewards could be huge.

Fans should remain patient. If all goes according to plan, the lack of January business could actually be the start of a new era at Stamford Bridge.

For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!


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