Lukaku, Romeu, Courtois: Introducing the New Boys at Chelsea
With new manager Andre Villas-Boas coming in, many fans of Chelsea Football Club were expecting the Blues to splash the cash this summer to add some big names of the footballing world to their roster.
While that hasn't been the case so far, the Blues have signed three exciting young prospects in Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Thibaut Courtois. All three have bright futures ahead of them.
Signing promising youngsters is just as important as signing proven players, as these teenagers are the ones who will constitute the starting 11 a few years down the line.
The focus of the club through the course of this summer's transfer window has been on preparing for the future.
Now there's little less than a fortnight to go before the window shuts until January, so the Pensioners still have some time to make a major signing or two.
For the time being, however, we must appreciate the new, young faces that they have recruited.
Former Club: Anderlecht
Romelu Lukaku has been labelled as the "next Drogba." With his massive potential, he might just be the long-term replacement of the Ivorian. At 6'3", he has quite a physical presence in the opposition's penalty area.
He has 41 goals in 98 appearances for Anderlecht and in 2010-11 enjoyed his most prolific season in front of the goal.
His strength, finishing and aerial prowess are his stand-out attributes. With pace, skill and the fox-in-the-box trait, it may not be long before he is the finished article.
If Chelsea hold on to their current crop of forwards, then seeing Lukaku loaned out to a Championship side for a year or two is a serious possibility. I would, however, prefer to have him stay at the Bridge and make the best of whatever opportunities come along. I believe he has it in him to lead the Blues' frontline for many years to come.
Former Club: Barcelona
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Reinforcements in the center of midfield became the need of the hour at Chelsea, when Michael Essien landed himself in the treatment room again and it was declared that he'd be out for six months.
Andre Villas-Boas decided to bring in Oriol Romeu, a player he was keeping tabs on even while manager at Porto. Romeu plays as a holding midfielder, but is very good on the ball. His composure when in possession of the ball is a desirable quality.
Being versatile, he is comfortable playing as center-back, too. While he is a good at tackling and dispossessing opponents, his game is not limited to protecting the back-line. The Spaniard, a product of the famed Barcelona youth academy, is quick at building up attacks. His passing is top notch.
He is now a regular for Spain's under-19 and under-20 national teams. I expect him to feature often this campaign and challenge Ramires and Jon Obi Mikel for a spot in the starting 11.
Former Club: Racing Genk
If Lukaku can become the Drog's long-term successor, then so can Thibaut Courtois be Petr Cech's. With a height of 6'6", excellent reflexes and strength, it's easy to see why he has been drawing comparisons to the Czech maestro.
He is agile, calm and dominant in his box. From what I've seen of him, he has a lot of confidence in his abilities.
His stats also read well. In 40 appearances for Genk in 2010-11, he managed to secure 14 clean sheets and was their Player Of The Season.
He has been loaned out to Atlético Madrid and this makes sense for Chelsea. Petr Cech has just had a great season and continues to be the automatic choice in goal. Courtois will be back with experience in a stronger league with a good team.