Chelsea are getting it wrong this transfer window.
Now, after the arrival of four new players this summer, all of which have experience at the very highest level, you may be wondering what the hell I’m going on about. Morata is a serial Champions League winner, Bakayoko has won the French title, Willy Caballero has over 350 club appearances… However, I’m not talking about the club’s early transfer business for the likes of Morata and Bakayoko, no, I’m referring to the club’s recent activity, i.e. our fixation on buying average English players.
Of course, I understand that the transfer window is crazy. I’d even go as far as saying that the deals done this summer around Europe have been barmy – Gylfi Sigurdsson for £45 million, if we believe the Guardian! But that’s no excuse to throw cash around on random England internationals.
Yesterday night, it was announced by Sky Sports that Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, had agreed a fee with Arsenal for the transfer of England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It is true to say that the Ox is a good player, he’s a tremendous workhorse and, if managed correctly, could be a fantastic threat on either wing. Yet, a reported £35 million (Sky sources) for a player who’s managed just 14 assists in 132 appearances is incredible.
What’s more, the Blues have been linked with the signing of Everton midfield Ross Barkley in the Guradian. Two years ago Ross Barkley looked as though he would be the next bright star in the England national team. In the 2015-16 season, Barkley scored eight times and assisted the same tally in 38 appearances for the blue half of Liverpool, earning him a big reputation among fellow players and pundits of the Premier League. However, since then the midfielder has failed to progress to the next level. Whether this is due to persistent injuries or motivation issues, Barkley looks nowhere near his multi-million pound asking price.
Now, I am very aware of the fact that the Blues are in desperate need for squad players and have precious little time until the window slams SHUT on Thursday night. But, why are we spending so much money on average Premier league players?
In my opinion, the salient reason as to why Chelsea are getting it wrong this transfer window by spending small fortunes on average English players is because the club are being lazy. Instead of sending out an army of scouts and searching for talent all across the globe, the Chelsea board have identified targets within the Premier League, failing to unearth the hidden gems which are bound to exist in foreign leagues.
Take Leicester for example, Kante, Mahrez and Fuchs were all brought in on a tight budget as the Foxes were tasked with ensuring Premier League survival whilst balancing the books. Not only did they survive that year, but they won the league thanks to a tremendous scouting effort. So why aren’t Chelsea taking a similar approach?
Yes, these foreign players wouldn’t be home-grown, nor would they help the club fill their quota for the season. But, if the Chelsea board had kept some of their home-grown players that they had let go this summer, filling the home-grown quota wouldn’t of been a problem.
With three days left of this summer’s transfer market, it is inevitable that the club will look to get in whoever they can in order to put together a squad capable of playing plus 50 games this season. But at what cost is this going to come?