Finally, the madness of the summer transfer window has ended and we can all get back to concentrating on what matters most about the Premier League – the football!
Signing a total of eight players this summer, the Chelsea hierarchy have been very busy over the last three months, negotiating clauses with agents and signing contract after contract. However, how will these new signings fare at the club? Moreover, are these players good enough to defend Chelsea’s Premier League crown? If so, what can we expect from the likes of Morata and Zappacosta?
In this article we rate each first team arrival and discuss what impact they will have at Stamford Bridge this season.
Willy Caballero – A
After the departure of Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth, Chelsea were given the task of finding a new goalkeeper. With Thibaut Courtois likely to start every match this season, Antonio Conte and Chelsea needed a player who would be happy to wait patiently on the bench and wait for his chance to impress. And, by signing Willy Caballero, Chelsea got their summer transfer business off to a fantastic start.
Spending three years at Manchester City, Caballero already has a great knowledge of the Premier League. At 35, the Argentine is an experienced keeper who still has plenty of quality as he’s shown for City over the past three seasons. A penalty-saving-expert, Willy is sure to offer Chelsea fantastic cover this season.
For these reasons, we’ve given this transfer an A.
Antonio Rudiger – B
With John Terry and Nathan Ake both leaving Stamford Bridge this summer, the Blues were in desperate need of some defensive reinforcements. Although Andreas Christensen was recalled from his loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach, the champions needed a seconded centre back to fill the void left by Chelsea’s former captain.
With strength and pace, Antonio Rudiger ticks all the boxes when it comes to finding a top Premier League centre back. The German international arrives from Roma after finishing second with the Italian giants and is accustomed to playing in a defensive three. With the guidance of Antonio Conte, Rudiger is certain to develop into a quality defender, who will challenge the likes of David Luiz and Gary Cahill for a place in the first team. However, at the age of 24, the defender still has a lot to learn.
Overall, we’ve awarded the Chelsea board a B for this coup.
Tiemoue Bakayoko – B+
Many fans were infuriated at the news that Chelsea had allowed Nemanja Matic to leave for Manchester United this summer. The Serbian midfielder played a crucial part in last season’s title win, making 35 appearances for the Blues. So, why did Chelsea let the 28-year-old leave?
Although Tiemoue Bakayoko may not be an upgrade on the outgoing Nemanja Matic, the young France international has the potential to become one of the best midfielders on the planet. At the tender age of 23, Bakayoko is already a league champion and a full international. The player has great athleticism and possesses the ability to break up play. Yet, what is most exciting about this player is his desire to run at the opposition and initiate attacking moves.
With bags of potential and a hunger to test himself at the highest level, the 23-year-old could prove to be a masterstroke by the Chelsea board. For this reason, we’ve awarded this transfer a B+.
Alvaro Morata – A-
Now, it’s no secret that Romelu Lukaku was Chelsea’s first-choice transfer target this summer. Yet, who needs Romelu Lukaku when you’ve got Alvaro Morata! Chelsea’s new club record signing has settled straight into the Premier League, becoming the first player to score and assist in both of his first two home games.
Having won titles with Real Madrid and Juventus, Morata is a player that screams class and it is hoped that the Spaniard can become the next big star of the Chelsea team. Great in the air and clinical with his right or left foot, Morata should be aiming for 20 goals this season.
Without the goals of Diego Costa to rely on this term, the Chelsea board needed to find an adequate replacement and they’ve done just that. Consequently, they get an A- for this signing.
Davide Zappacosta – B
Last summer, Antonio Conte signed Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina on the final day of the transfer window. At first, many Chelsea fans questioned the Italian’s decision to bring in the former Bolton and Sunderland defender. However, over the course of last season, Alonso proved many fans wrong as he made the left wing-back position his own, adding a Premier League winners medal. And, I feel like Chelsea’s last minute deal to sign Davide Zappacosta has a similar air to it.
Having played under Conte for the Italian national team, Zappacosta is an energetic wing-back who can play on either the right or left side of defence. The 25-year-old has recently burst onto the in the last two seasons and is known for his consistency and reliability. In particular, Zappacosta is regarded as a fantastic crosser of the ball and his service could provide many goals for the incoming Alvaro Morata.
To conclude, Chelsea’s deadline day signing offers cover for both wing-back positions and will push other players for a regular first team spot – B.
Danny Drinkwater – B
Following his former Leicester teammate N’Golo Kante to Stamford Bridge, Danny Drinkwater was another played who signed for Chelsea on transfer deadline day. A product of the Manchester United Academy, the 27-year-old has evolved into one of the most consistent midfield performers in the league. But how will he fit in at Chelsea?
It goes without saying, Drinkwater already has a great understanding of the way N’Golo Kante operates after the pair won the Premier League for Leicester back in 2016. As a result, we can say that the 27-year-old is a ready-made partner for Kante should Cesc Fabregas or Tiemoue Bakayoko fall out of favour.
With just under 100 Premier League appearances, Drinkwater completes a very strong Chelsea midfield – something which is sure to give Antonio Conte food for thought. Overall, we’ve awarded this deal a B grade.
Although Chelsea haven’t necessarily strengthened their squad for the 2017-18 season, the reigning Premier League champions have definitely rejuvenated an ageing team by purchasing some of Europe’s hottest young talent. With the signings of Rudiger, Morata, Bakayoko and Zappacosta, Chelsea have bolstered their star-studded squad.
All in all, the board saved themselves a little on the last day of the season with last minute deals for Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater, but impressed with their early business for Morata and Bakayoko.