Chelsea aren't expected to do much on the final day of the 2014 summer transfer window, and fans should pray they shouldn't. Jose Mourinho and the Blues have had a phenomenal summer, and no team can claim the title of "winners of the transfer market" more.
Mourinho went to work early in the transfer window, remained patient throughout the entire ordeal and added depth when the opportunity arose. He offloaded players he had no need of, played the loan game perfectly and has his team at the top of the Premier League table once again.
As reported by the club's official website, the Blues made six signings in the summer (there's no bio for Loic Remy yet, but per the website, the transfer is official): Remy, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, Cesc Fabregas, Didier Drogba and Mario Pasalic.
Of those six, three will likely be full-time starters, with two who already look like a significant upgrade compared to last year's squad. Costa was the biggest need, as the striker position severely held back the Blues in 2013-14. After three matches, the Spaniard leads the Premier League in goals, per WhoScored.com.
Fabregas was available, and while many questioned his fit in Chelsea's starting XI, Mourinho didn't hesitate to pull the trigger. As reported by the same source, he shares the lead for assists after just four matches.
Luis would be starting as well, if it weren't for an issue with form and the great performances of Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta. Don't expect to see the Brazilian sitting on the bench in two months.
Two more signings addressed depth: Remy is a proven Premier League scorer in the prime of his career, and Drogba is a club legend whose impact will mostly be felt off the pitch—in the community and on the training ground.
Finally, Pasalic is a typical Chelsea-signing: A talented youngster who will get a chance to develop and prove his value out on loan. One look at the club's website reveals just how many top talents like that the Blues currently own.
Most never make it into the team's starting XI, and that's okay. The few exceptions, like Belgian international Thibaut Courtois, are currently worth more than triple what the club originally paid for their services.
The ones that don't make it can be sold off for a nice profit, another aspect of the 2014 window. Criticise Mourinho all you want for giving up on Romelu Lukaku—£28 million for a player no longer in your plans is insanely good value, per The Independent's Jack Pitt-Brooke.
One of the reasons Mourinho was so efficient is because he acted quickly. CNN's Ben Fairthorne agrees:
Piers Morgan made the comparison to Arsene Wenger, once again under scrutiny for failing to act on some squad needs until the last minute:
The Blues look like early favourites for the 2014-15 Premier League titles, and given the strength and depth of the squad, they should be one of the favourites for the UEFA Champions League as well.
There's youth and potential both in the starting XI and on the bench, and a multitude of youngsters will continue getting better out on loan. The team is built to win now, but also with an eye on the future.
No matter how you look at it, it's hard to find one area where Mourinho made a mistake in the summer of 2014. Maybe he could have found a way to keep hold of Lukaku, but at £28 million, the value was too great to pass up.
There's no last-minute deals to fill needs, no overpriced veterans whose body might give in during the season playing key roles. The Blues have incredible depth, and their starting XI is perhaps the best in all of the Premier League. For all those reasons, Chelsea are the clear winners of the summer transfer window.
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