Why Chelsea Should Stand Pat and Bring Back the Same Squad Next Year

Kevin StottSenior Analyst IMay 25, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27:  Real Madrid  head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction. —Alvin Toffler


With one manager headed out the door and another one coming in, Chelsea and owner Roman Abramovich are again gambling that change is a better thing right now for the West London club than stasis.

Besides interim manager Rafael Benítez's departure, several players currently on the Blues squad will likely be leaving Stamford Bridge as likely incoming manager José Mourinho may embark in a major personnel overhaul.

But will that necessarily be a good thing in the future for Chelsea?

Well, when a guy dubbed "The Special One" is presiding as puppetmaster, one would definitely think so, but when you realize Mourinho gave himself that nickname, it provides context to a bigger picture and reveals much about the 50-year-old Portuguese's massive ego.

But hey, he worked miracles with the Blues once, and it all worked out swimmingly, so he has to be able to work his Mourinho Magic again, right brother?

Only time will tell.

Obviously, Chelsea will rid itself of much deadwood in the coming months, but would a major face-lift be the right thing to do for a club which finally seemed to gel in the last couple months of the season?

On Saturday, Gerard Brand of the Daily Mail reported that Mourinho hopes to lure Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić away from Santiago Bernabéu with him when he eventually comes to Chelsea with a club insider saying "Mourinho's very keen to clinch a deal for Modrić."

Rob Beasley of The Sun reported that a move for the 27-year-old Croat could cost the Blues around £30 million, but don't the Blues already have enough quality midfielders now with which to work? And wouldn't trying to sign Málaga's Isco probably be a wiser move and money better spent for the Europa League champions?

Another rumored move, according to O Jogo (via Sky Sports), for the Blues involving another Real Madrid player concerns left-back Fábio Coentrão who, if acquired, would eventually be a replacement for Ashley Cole when the Chelsea legend finally ends his time at Stamford Bridge.

So where would that leave Ryan Bertrand, who has been deemed Cole's "understudy" at the position for so long? And would so many new faces change the chemistry too much and possibly create some dissention in the club?

With so many players being the subject of Chelsea transfer rumors, it can become quite overwhelming for fans and journalists alike, but a constant reshuffling has to be even harder for the players who get used to each other not only on the pitch, but in the clubhouse, during travel and in social settings.

One player in the center of this overhaul debate is striker Fernando Torres, who was a complete Jekyll and Hyde this past season, shining in international play, but leaving a lot to be desired in the English Premier League.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, like last season, seemed to show much improvement toward the end of the season and had to be exhausted as the marathon trek finally came to an end on Saturday when the Blues played their second of two season-ending friendlies against Manchester City in New York City.

Torres served as the club's primary striker in its familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, and with Didier Drogba released, Daniel Sturridge sold to Liverpool and Demba Ba cup-tied in Europa League play, he was leaned on heavily by manager Benítez, and the club actually led the Blues in scoring in all competitions with 23 goals.

Should Mourinho and management send Torres on his merry way and land another big-name scorer like Radamel Falcao or Edinson Cavani, would they be able to provide the same offensive output as El Niño? And would they mesh into a team with potentially a number of new moving parts?

Another big-name Blues legend who could eventually be let go is captain John Terry, seen by many as the heart and soul of the team.

Gary Cahill could very well fill Terry's shoes at left center-back, but replacing his heart would be like trying to replace Michael Jackson when he left his brothers in the Jackson Five—and we all saw what happened there Bubba.

But in a report by Rob Beasley of The Sun, Chelsea vice-captain Frank Lampard said he's confident a deal can be made to keep the 32-year-old Englishman whose contract expires next summer.

"John must have been here 14-15 years, right from the youth team," Lampard said. "The fact he couldn't be involved in two big finals was hard to take. He deserves to be involved when we win things, simple as that."

Another player who has been the subject of a possible move to West London and one who the club seems to be interested in bringing in is Bayer Leverkusen's André Schürrle.

But with guys like Ba, Victor Moses, West Bromwich Albion-loanee Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Lucas Piazón and even teenage sensation Ruben Loftus-Cheek already in the fold and not even close to having realized their potential for the Blues, paying a huge sum of money to fill a perceived void that really isn't there seems like a pretty dumb idea from this distance.

Now if a major sea change should occur at Chelsea and fail to provide the desired success, not all of the blame should be laid at the feet of Mourinho, but working, for the most part, with the same nucleus seems like the smartest path right now and the best way for The Special One to avoid becoming "The Selfish One" and Abramovich from being perceived any more trigger-happy than he already is.


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