After being crowned champions in 2015, Chelsea fell to their worst ever position in the Premier League. But they came back strongly to regain the title in 2017. And this season, although the situation is not as bad as 2016, something is not right at the club. They have been far from being at their best. They never seemed to be ready for the new season, and are struggling to catch up with their rivals. So what could have gone wrong for the blues?
The answer lies in the summer transfer window. The summer transfer period was a very frustrating one for the blues. They did not get their signings right and are now paying the price for it. The sale of Diego Costa was a big concern for Chelsea’s ever-weak striking force. But the arrival of record signing of Alvaro Morata shrugged off the worries after Romelu Lukaku was hijacked by arch-rivals Manchester United. But that doesn’t solve Chelsea’s issues up front as backup Michy Batshuyai has disappointed more often than not. Even Antonio Conte has not shown trust and used Hazard as a false 9 in Morata’s absence.
In defence, Alex Sandro has been on the radar for a long time, but to no avail. Sometimes he was too expensive, while other times interest from other clubs never allowed Chelsea to complete the deal. Antonio Rüdiger was signed from Roma, but sometimes he has been nervy at the back when Chelsea was put under pressure. Andreas Christensen has proved to be a good asset after coming back from loan and has been vital at the back. Gary Cahill to has not been at his best, while David Luiz has been told he is free to leave if he wishes.
When it comes to midfield, the sale of Nemanja Matic to direct rivals raised a lot of questions. The arrival of Tiemoune Bakayako made Matic to be surprisingly deemed surplus. Matic’s partnership with Kante was the deadliest in the league in the title-winning season. This season, Chelsea’s defence has been left exposed a number of times. Fabregas along with Kante in the 343 formation has proved to be highly ineffective. But switching to the 352 formation with Kante and Bakayako in the heart of midfield and Fabregas in an attacking position has brought positive signs for Chelsea. But that doesn’t solve the issues completely. Eden Hazard was sharp after coming back from injury, but has been very inconsistent since then. With Champions League Football set to resume, Chelsea badly need reinforcements in almost every area if they are to go a distance. The latest problem for Chelsea has been the speculation about Antonio Conte’s future after his recent spat with Jose Mourinho. The signing of Olivier Giroud from Arsenal and Emerson Palmieri from Roma are a big sigh of relief for the club who are desperate to end the season on a winning note.
Consistency is the key to a successful season, and Chelsea have found it hard to come by. Eden Hazard, Pedro, Gary Cahill all haave bee very inconsistent this season. Tiemoune Bakayoko also has been disappointing off late. With new signings made, and a tough period lying ahead, Chelsea would want to regroup to find that winning formula once again. With their Champions league spot also now in the shadow of rivals, their first and foremost aim will be a top 3 finish, and a good run in the Champions League