Chelsea FC: Reviewing 2012 Summer Transfer Window Activity
In one of the club's busiest transfer windows of recent years, Chelsea F.C. used this summer to signal their intent for the new 2012-13 Premier League season.
With the release of several physical players and the purchase of a number of artistic midfielders, it is easy to see the move towards a new fluid, attacking Chelsea.
Here, then, are some of the key ins and outs of Chelsea's 2012 summer transfer window.
In: Eden Hazard, £32M
Eden Hazard, signed from Lille, has already been making waves in the Premier League.
Still just 21, he is already being touted as the signing of the summer. Only time can tell if that is true, but after just three games his statistics speak for themselves.
In those three matches, he had six assists, nine shots, and one goal.
He will surely be the focal point of a dangerous new Chelsea attack, delivering deadly balls to Fernando Torres, as well as scoring goals himself.
Out: Didier Drogba, Free
A fan favorite, and with good reason.
Having played an integral part in the club's Champions League victory, there were many calls for Drogba to sign a new contract. Built like a centre-back, Drogba was the perfect man to lead Chelsea's aggressive, long-ball style.
With Drogba turning 34, however, Chelsea realized that it was time to move forward with a new style of play, focused around £50M man, Fernando Torres.
In: Oscar, £25M
Another addition to the new-look Chelsea, Oscar is another of the five midfielders signed by the club this summer.
Also young (aged 20), Oscar will be looking to break into the overcrowded Chelsea midfield. Brazilians have a history of struggling with the physicality of the Premier League, as well as the cold British climate.
Will Oscar be the exception or the rule?
Out: Michael Essien, Loan
Another fan favorite, Michael Essien could no longer find a place in Chelsea's packed midfield.
Although his skills have been invaluable to Chelsea, his form has declined in recent seasons, with injuries taking their toll. In the 2011-12 season, Essien made only eleven starts in the Premier League.
Although he remains a Chelsea player, on loan to Real Madrid, it is hard to see him having a future with the Blues.
In: Marko Marin
The "German Messi," Marko Marin, will likely go up against the "Belgian Messi," Eden Hazard for starting spots in the Chelsea midfield this season.
Marin had a mixed record with previous club Werder Bremen and, having had a promising pre-season, Marin has missed the start of the Premier League season through injury. Marin has reportedly started light training, but he will have a lot to do in order to catch up with Hazard. There may, of course, be space for both players in the Chelsea team, perhaps emulating Duff and Robben from the Mourinho era. If pre-season is anything to go by, it is a viable option.
If one player has to make way, however, few would bet on it being Hazard.
Out: Raul Meireles, £8M
Like Essien, Meireles has been deemed surplus to Chelsea's midfield requirements.
Unlike Essien, however, Meireles had a good season, playing a key role in the club's cup double triumph. With the fight for places harder than ever, however, Meireles—who was not a regular starter in 2011-12—perhaps realized that he may struggle to see much playing time with the new midfield additions.
Although Meireles may have still had more to offer the club, £8M seems a good price for Chelsea to let him go.
In: Victor Moses, £9M
It came as a surprise to some that Chelsea opted to sign yet another midfielder, Moses from Wigan Athletic as the deadline came to a close. The biggest asset that Moses brings to this Chelsea squad, however, is his versatility.
With the exit of Didier Drogba, Chelsea were limited to Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge up front. Moses can perhaps give Roberto Di Matteo an extra attacking option, if necessary.
Roberto Di Matteo
Let's not forget that, at the beginning of the summer, no one knew whether or not Di Matteo would still be the man in charge at Chelsea.
In June however, Chelsea finally rewarded the Italian for winning both the FA Cup and the Champions League as caretaker manager. He was offered a two-year contract, in what could well have been the club's most important signing of the summer.