Jose Mourinho’s men looked worthy of their tag as league favourites at Turf Moor, with new arrivals Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa stealing the show on the night in a 3-1 victory.
However, the Portuguese manager’s transfer spending may not be done just yet; and here, we take a look at a potential, big-money signing and analyse the future of Petr Cech.
While the Blues’ midfield looked formidable against Burnley, another addition could well be on the way in the coming days—Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho.
The 22-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Portuguese capital since the start of the summer, with Sky Sports’ Pete O’Rourke reporting in July that Arsenal had a bid rejected for the midfielder:
However, Chelsea have now reportedly moved into pole position to sign Carvalho and are planning an astronomical bid for the star’s signature.
A holding midfielder with a tenacious-tackling style and excellent distribution, it’s clear that Carvalho would have a big impact in west London.
But is he really essential?
Fabregas’ brilliance in the holding role with Nemanja Matic stood out in the Blues’ win at Turf Moor, and it’s unlikely that Mourinho will disrupt such a strong partnership throughout the campaign.
He could bring Carvalho into defensive midfield and push Fabregas forward, but that would put the Spaniard in direct competition with Willian, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Andre Schurrle for a place in the side.
It’s crystal clear that John Obi Mikel is in the back of Mourinho’s mind when it comes to squad selection, and Carvalho appears to be a, sort of, replacement for him.
Paying £35 million for a glorified substitute and an occasional Capital One Cup competitor isn’t exactly worth it, though, and while Carvalho has the potential to be a superstar in the future, Mourinho is better off sticking with his current crop.
The goalkeeping situation at Chelsea has been the centre of attention throughout the summer, with Mourinho needing to give the No. 1 spot to one of Thibaut Courtois or Cech.
However, opting for youth, the Portuguese manager chose Courtois between his posts, and it’s a choice that he certainly won’t regret.
The Belgian produced a solid performance despite a quiet evening at Turf Moor and managed to bring out his best when called upon—as the club’s official Twitter feed revealed:
All that adds up to Cech needing to get used to a life on the Chelsea bench, and he could be looking to move away from the Bridge in the bid for regular football.
However, Mourinho hopes that his former No. 1 doesn’t leave the club, as having two of the finest stoppers in the world in his setup wouldn’t be the worst thing—per BBC Sport:
I hope Petr doesn't want to go and I hope he doesn't have offers to go and, if he does have offers, he refuses to go.
I'd be delighted to have two of the best keepers in the world in my squad.
Obviously a goalkeeper is not a player you are changing match after match. You must give a bit of stability, but this is about performances.
Mourinho’s words will give Cech a bit of encouragement that he could earn his place back in the side, but he’d need a Courtois slip-up to do that—something that doesn’t exactly happen a lot.
At 32 years of age, Cech is rather seasoned as a footballer, but being a goalkeeper means he could still have around eight years of service left in him.
Spending those years on the Blues’ bench isn’t good enough for a stopper of his calibre, and while Mourinho wants Cech to stay, he’s best to move on.
Should the Czech star decide to leave Stamford Bridge, it would help the Blues meet their homegrown quota and potentially free up the chance to bring another player in—making the move seemingly good for all parties.
We’ve already seen two club legends head for the exit door—Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole—and it would be far from surprising to see Cech follow suit, as a new goalkeeping era begins.