Jose Mourinho is excited about the start of preseason training. After all the drama surrounding his reappointment as Chelsea manager, the Especially Happy One is looking forward to working with his new squad.
Some of the faces will be familiar, however, the majority of the squad will be players who are new to Mourinho. Those who joined the club last summer will greet him as their third manager in 12 months, and although he holds legendary status at Stamford Bridge, there will be trepidation amongst the younger members of the squad.
Back in 2004, Mourinho was given a squad full of talented veterans alongside limitless funding, with the expectation that he would deliver instant success. He did, and it sparked a revolution at the club, but that model was never going to be a sustainable, long-term option.
Now he has some of the most exciting young talents in Europe at his disposal. There has been much talk of a £100 million transfer budget, but Mourinho has said that he wants his second love affair with the Blues to last longer than the first. He will most likely want to win another trophy with his old guard before they reach their looming retirements, but it will not be done at the cost of the future of the club.
Any purchases that are made this summer will be towards that future. The Portuguese has always favoured attacking wingers, and Andre Schurrle has been brought in to bolster that position. Mourinho will also be looking for a new striker, and there is a sense that if a deal for Edinson Cavani fails to materialise, it will be the Special One who decides on the next target.
Although it is difficult to be certain with Abramovich, Mourinho is unlikely to find himself lumbered with another Andriy Shevchenko situation. There is genuine hope that Roman has seen the error in buying names for shirts rather then players to fit the team, and will let the manager do his job. It is obvious that he wants his club to play a particular style of football, and he has successfully assembled a squad capable of achieving that aim.
With Abramovich extremely unlikely to sanction the destruction of the Juan Mata-Eden Hazard-Oscar triumvirate, it appears Jose will be stepping out of his comfort zone. He will no doubt be able to bring in one or two of his own players, but there will be no overhaul of the squad. Chelsea's approach to this transfer window will be different, especially when Financial Fair Play is taken into account.
Clubs across Europe will be barred from competing in the Champions League and Europa League tournaments if they do not meet the strict criteria. Having pumped over £850 million of his personal fortune into the club, Abramovich has a more vested interest than most in ensuring that Chelsea FC PLC remains financially competitive.
This will all present a new challenge for Mourinho, but he is not called the Special One for nothing. His adaptability is what has made him one of the best managers in Europe. He will relish the challenges thrown at him because, for the first time, he is not arriving to deliver a quick fix; he is back at Chelsea to build his dynasty.