Chelsea Transfer Review: Thoughts on Chelsea's 6 New Signings
Chelsea were one of the most active Premier League clubs during the summer transfer window, signing a total of six players for a combined total of £75 million.
Such exorbitance was stimulated by criticism of Chelsea's slower tempo, with many claiming that their squad was “too old”, despite the fact that they won the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League last term. The likes of John Terry (31), Frank Lampard (34), and Didier Drogba (34) were soon given the moniker of “the old guard”.
And though many of the team’s aging stars remain vital cogs in the Chelsea machine, Roberto Di Matteo's recent investment has resulted in a more vibrant and sprightly team, capable of bringing the club success for a number of years into the future.
This article takes a closer look at the potential of each of the summer signings.
Technically signed during last season, his move was not made official until the transfer window opened on July 1st; the German winger, 23, joined from Werder Bremen for an undisclosed fee.
A highly rated youngster, his career was hampered by injury last season and he was left out of Joachim Low’s Germany squad for Euro 2012.
If he can reproduce the form that saw him manage 30 assists in his first three seasons at Werder Bremen, then Marin will be a big hit at Stamford Bridge.
Though perhaps not a fixture in the starting line up, his presence will offer Di Matteo an extra dimension in the wide positions and will atone for the loss of Salomon Kalou.
The potential is there; now is the time to step up.
Having commanded an astonishing £32 million price tag, the pressure is certainly on the Belgian prodigy to deliver the goods for Chelsea this season.
He had an exceptional season at Lille last year, managing 20 goals and 15 assists from the wing, and he has started his Chelsea career in a similarly rich vein of form. Of the eight league goals the Blues have scored so far this season, Hazard has contributed to seven—setting up six and scoring one.
If he can continue to produce such scintillating performances, then there will be little risk of him being remembered as another of the game’s big money flops.
I, for one, think there will be many critics who will be proved wrong.
A much more low-key signing, Eden’s brother Thorgan arrived for a fraction of the price of his older sibling from French club Lens, despite having played just 11 games for the Ligue 2 club.
Definitely one for the future, he has already been loaned out to Belgian side Zulte Waregem to gain some more valuable first team experience.
The 19-year-old may struggle to eclipse his older brother if the latter continues to perform as he has done so far, but there is certainly time for Thorgan to develop and prove himself at the club.
If he features in the first team, he will add to the club’s interesting tradition of brotherly reunions, after Ray and Graham Wilkins, Ron and Allan Harris, John and Peter Sillett, and Chris and William Ferguson, who all played together for the Blues at some point.
Oscar was snapped up by Chelsea after an impressive season for Internacional in his native Brazil.
He went on to perform admirably at the 2012 Olympics for his country, but like Hazard, the expectation that his lofty price tag entails could potentially hinder the 20-year-old’s progress.
An attacking midfielder, he is particularly versatile, and his natural game sees him drift both across the centre of the park and in the dangerous spaces between the midfield and the attack.
Inheriting the No. 11 shirt from departing club legend Didier Drogba may increase the pressure on Oscar, though he showed promise in linking up with the likes of Hazard and Juan Mata in the 4-2 victory over Reading and looks like he could well become a successful part of this Chelsea side.
The Spaniard joined from Marseille for an initial £6.5 million fee, and was another to feature in the recent 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Rated highly, his arrival will cover the loss of José Bosingwa, who left on a free transfer to city neighbour Queens Park Rangers.
However, it will be difficult for Azpilicueta to break into the first team considering the impressive performances of Branislav Ivanovic.
The Serb has developed into one of Chelsea’s key players in recent years, thus it would appear that Azpilicueta’s signing represents a piece of forward thinking from Di Matteo and a desire to strengthen the depth of the Blues’ playing squad.
Moses was pivotal in Wigan’s superb end to last campaign, as they dramatically escaped relegation by playing a wonderfully ambitious and attacking brand of football.
His displays earned him a £9 million move to Stamford Bridge after a drawn-out negotiation process, but he also would appear to have been bought with the intention of bulking up the squad.
Though he can rival Fernando Torres for a place up front, his natural position is out on the wing—an area that Chelsea are now particularly well stocked in.
With the likes of Hazard ahead of him in the pecking order and further new signings such as Marin to contend with, Moses may be in store for less frequent opportunities in the first team than he enjoyed at Wigan.
A bright and exciting player, though perhaps not one for the starting 11.
Chelsea have a lot to show for their efforts in the transfer market this summer.
The likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar seem to be settling in well enough, while Azpilicueta and Moses provide a wider array of options from which Di Matteo can choose.
Though questions have been raised over the purchase of Thorgan Hazard, the key point is that he, and the rest of the signings, are still particularly young. Thus they each have plenty of time to make their mark at the West London side.
With all six players between the ages of 19 and 23, such investment in youth was a shrewd move by Di Matteo, and the Italian obviously intends to enjoy success at the club for a number of years to come.
The club are still lacking in the strikers department somewhat, though perhaps the versatility of Moses and Daniel Sturridge will ensure this does not become a major issue for the Blues.
But what do you guys think? Did Chelsea act wisely in the transfer market this year? Or should they have conducted themselves differently?
Comment below with your thoughts and opinions.