The best and the major signing of the window remains José Mourinho. Regardless of that, Chelsea have done a wonderful job this summer window. Arguably the second best after Tottenham Hotspurs in Premier League. Chelsea have spent around £58 million and received around £6 million in sales and loans. Here are my views on some of the major transfer happenings and rumors that had happened during this summer transfer window.
For £18 million, Schürrle looks like a brilliant piece of business. The exact kind of player Chelsea have been looking for the wings for quite a while. It seems like Chelsea have finally got what we were looking for. He has got pure pace, really good crossing ability and also have an eye for goal. Many labeled him as ‘average’ but he is starting to prove everyone one of them wrong. But he will face tough competition for the RW spot from Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Willian. He can also play as a striker or a second striker. He played as a striker at Mainz a whole season, scoring 15 goals in the Bundesliga.
Marco Van Ginkel
I don’t know much in detail about him but looks like an exciting talent from his showing in the pre-season. Like Schürrle, it looks like £8 million Chelsea paid for him is a bargain. That could well be a merit price thanks to the good relationship between Vitesse and Chelsea. Vitesse had turned down a better offer from Ajax, their rivals in the title race before accepting the Chelsea offer. That might also explain why Chelsea were reluctant and rejected a loan offer for him from Ajax, where he could have developed and matured more as a player than being at either of Vitesse or Chelsea right now.
John Obi Mikel and Daniele De Rossi
Chelsea have been lacking a deep lying playmaker ever since Makelele left us. Signing De Rossi would have closed that chapter and he would have been a great addition to the squad. Actually he is the one who i saw as a priority. But apparently Chelsea’s interest in him depended up on Mikel’s future. Mikel was heavily linked with a move to Galatasaray for a fee around €12-15 million.
I really rate Mikel. He does not offer much going forward but in terms of defensive part, he is one of the best defensive midfielders out there. De Rossi was probably seen as a replacement for Mikel as there are already 6 players for 2 positions in our current holding midfield or 4 players for one position if we are playing 4-3-3. I would have been over the moon if Chelsea had signed De Rossi, but i am happy Chelsea kept hold of John Obi Mikel.
Mark Schwarzer and Henrique Hilàrio
Signing Schwarzer was really good move from Chelsea. He is a very good shot stopper, has loads of Premier League experience, over 500 games and is willing to be a back up to Cech. He is 40 years old but he is here for the short term, a one year deal and the age generally doesn’t have much effect on goal keepers. This GK pairing of Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer is going to be undoubtedly the next best pairing after Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini in the Roman era.
Hilàrio is underrated. He is not bad as many people think he is. He had some bad moments but he had equally good moments too. Like Schwarzer, loads of experience. But unfortunately for him, he is not listed on either Premier League or Champions League squad as Chelsea too many non-homegrown players above the age of 21. Anyways it seems he is here for more of a coaching role than a player role.
Arguably the best young goalkeeper in the world. With Petr Cech not showing any signs of a decline, Jose will have a really huge decision to take next season. Like last two seasons, he is loaned to Aletico for another year. With world cup next year, it is the best decision for him.
Ever since the Cavani deal failed, i never had any element of doubt that Juan Mata would leave Chelsea. Jose’s comments made that stronger until like 10 hours before the transfer deadline. I have to say i was getting ready to face the shock of Mata leaving for PSG as there were strong and reliable rumors. Reportedly PSG made an offer around €40 million. Chelsea initially asked for €45 million + €5 million add-ons which rose to €60 million as the time went by. But the funny part is the Chelsea board was never directly in negotiations of this deal. It was not managed by the club itself. It was between the intermediaries (Said to be Zahavi and co.) who were pushing for the deal to happen but it never did as the Chelsea board never gave the ‘Go ahead’. It remains to be seen what plans Jose have for Mata, on the RW or as CAM like last season. Either ways, Jose considers him as a ‘very important player’.
If rumors are to be believed, AS Monaco made a €25 million offer for Branislav Ivanovic. Saying ‘no’ to a €25 million bid for a 28 year old defender is a real hard decision. But i am really glad Chelsea did the same. Getting a replacement for Ivanovic would mean getting two players, a CB and an RB. He is not just that ordinary defender. He covers two positions, CB and RB and there won’t be many defenders who can play both positions as good as Ivanovic. If we did go for two defenders, providing them game time would be real hard task, let alone the financials. It’s always ten times easier to man manage one player instead of two. Adding to these, Ivanovic is a prominent figure in the dressing room, loads of experience, scores crucial goals and he is always up there in big occasions. Also his physical strength and aerial threat are a real asset to the team. Players like him are hard to come by.
Kevin De Bruyne and Michael Essien
De Bruyne is more or less like a new signing than a loanee coming back. He has already showed what he is capable of, in the game against Hull. He had a brilliant first half even though he went to sleeping mode in the second half. But then again, so did the whole midfield. Hopefully he will be scoring quite a few goals and assists this season.
Josè loves Essien. It’s no secret. Essien had a good showing in the pre season nevertheless. Gives us the hope of getting to see something of that old Bison who marked and frustrated Steven Gerrard out of the game completely, few years back. He brings that much needed steel in the middle of the park and also can be used as a third choice right back. After all, we all love him like Josè!
Despite being called as ‘German Messi’, he never showed any of that instincts at Chelsea. With the signing of Schürrle and De Bruyne staying he didn’t had many choice but to leave the club or go out on loan and rebuild the reputation he once had. Loaned to Sevilla, he had a very good pre-season and has been playing there mostly as a CAM. Like Moses, chances of him being sold next summer are high.
The Falcao and Cavani saga
Two of the few mega money transfers. From what i have heard of these two deals, Chelsea approached for both as you would know. Falcao rejected Chelsea for more money. Cavani preferred and asked for Chelsea with the PSG offer on the table.
Apparently Chelsea had agreed a deal with Atletico and Mendez, his agent and the co-founder of the third party group that owns 60% of his right. AS Monaco then made a similar offer and a better personal offer. If Chelsea were to match that offer, we should have offered him like €300k a week. That doesn’t mean Monaco were offering that much. They offered something around €200k a week but as they are in a tax haven area, Chelsea must have had to pay €100k a week more to match the income Falcao will earn after tax. He chose money.
Cavani saga went on for long. Chelsea have had couple of bids rejected. One is €40m + Torres but Napoli couldn’t afford his wages. They instead asked for either of Ivanovic of Ramires. Chelsea refused. This saga went on and on and many stories were made up during this period of time. Eventually PSG came and paid the release clause including a 10% of sale to his former club, Palermo which took the value of the deal to something around €71 million. Cavani’s agent asked Chelsea if they would raise their offer which was around €52 million as Cavani preferred Chelsea. The answer was obviously a ‘no’. Following are the details of bonuses Cavani will earn at PSG:
Champions League : €2.5 million
French Ligue 1 : €450k
French Cup Win : €250k
Goals scored : 250k for every goal he scores after 20 goals.
Barcelona were constantly linked with him. The best defender Chelsea have got and the closest thing to Ricardo Carvalho of Josè Mourinho era at Chelsea in terms of reading the opposition attack and committing fearless tackles in and out of the box. He is close to ‘actually’ being ‘world class’, may be in a year or two. Also he is a great character in the dressing room and most important of all, he loves the club and he loves it here. Barcelona tried for him and understandably because he is one of the the best ball playing defenders in the world right now. But both the player and Chelsea rejected the offer. Things could have been very different if Chelsea had got Edinson Cavani though. The rumors linked with Mangala of FC Porto are signs of that.
Josè always end up eventually getting the players he wanted. Unfortunately it’s not the time for Rooney yet. Always looked an unlikely transfer and rightly so. But Chelsea were confident of the deal. They might still be confident of a deal. Why? The Webster rule. As you might have read, for players under 28, it is allowed for them to buy their last 2 years of contract as their ‘protected period’ is 2 years. Rooney signed a 5 year contract in 2010 post season. He earns around £250k a week at United. So that would mean Chelsea can have him for £24 million next season, with United being helpless to do anything about it. However they can appeal to CAS and maybe get a rise in the value but they sure can’t stop the player from leaving if both Rooney and Chelsea are determined.
Creator of undoubtedly the funniest moment of the summer transfer window. Made the scenes of players snubbing Manchester United and Arsenal left and right, comparatively not so laughable. Liverpool started the negotiations with Anzhi but could not come to an agreement regarding the transfer fee. Then came Tottenham, reached an agreement with Anzhi and all that left was the signature and a medical. We all know what happened thereafter. Banters aside, it would be inappropriate from me to comment on him as i have not seen him much. I never really followed the Russian or the Ukrainian league. But i do have watched him play in Champions League. I was very impressed from what i have seen of him and i think £25 million is a very fair price in this inflated transfer market.
Never followed the Russian league. So the Eto’o in my eyes is one of the best in the world. That doesn’t mean he still is. But obviously i am excited about the prospect of watching Eto’o play. The club said it’s a one year deal but from what i have heard, there is one year additional option for the club attached to it. Either ways Eto’o seems like a stopgap for Rooney or any other marquee striker signing, next summer.
Another player who was considered a hot prospect set to break through to the first team but could never cut it out at Chelsea and sold. He is sold to PSV Eindhoven for €2.5 million with a buy back clause of €5 million included in the contract.
Atsu is a 21 year old Ghanaian who who primarily plays as a left winger. He is bought from FC Porto for a fee of £3.5 million. He made few appearances for Porto and made his Champions League debut last season. He has played 16 games for Ghana up to date. He is now on loan at Vitesse.
Victor Moses on loan to Liverpool
Like Lukaku’s move to Everton, many people seem to be against this move, not because of loaning him but to where we have loaned him. Liverpool. Moses had a decent first season at Chelsea. A very good first half and a poor second half, after AFCON. With Mata, Willian, Schurrle and De Bruyne fighting for the RW spot, Moses rarely stand a chance of having a future at Chelsea and had to be loaned or sold for both his and the clubs sake. He is still young, if he does well at Liverpool, it will increase his market value and will probably be sold next season unless he does wonders at Liverpool and convince Jose to keep hold of him.
Lukaku’s move on loan to Everton
Many seem to have disagreement with this decision from Chelsea. Honestly, i am supportive of this move. It was only first three games, but from that, it is somehow evident that Jose did not have the trust most people have in him. If Jose had that trust, Lukaku would have started against Manchester United. Jose considers him as an important player for future but thinks he is not completely ready yet to lead the line for Chelsea. He still has a lot of room for improvement. With the arrival of Samuel Eto’o, Lukaku’s game time was definitely going to be limited. With the world cup around the corner, getting regular first team football is obviously going to be his main priority right now. Everton is a step up from West Bromwich Albion and he has a much better chance of achieving regular first team football there than at Chelsea. This move will improve and mature him as a player. Chelsea are still benefiters, whichever the way you look at it.
Christian Cuevàs: A Chilean under-21, plays anywhere on the left wing. Signed from Chilean club O’Higgins for £1.7 million. This deal was actually completed in January. He is now on loan at Vitesse.
Isaiah Brown: An English Under-21 aged 16 years old, can play as a forward and midfielder. Signed from West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer but there will be a compensation fee to be paid to West Brom as a part of his development.
Stipe Pericà: Tall Croatian striker signed from the Croatian club Zadar for £1.3 million. He is now on loan at NAC Breda.
Among the big names Chelsea have released this summer are Yossi Benayoun, Florent Malouda, Ross Turnbull and the ever loyal Paulo Ferreira who retired from international football. This free up around £200k a week in wages. Chelsea replaced Turnbull with Mark Schwarzer, Malouda with Schurrle, Benayoun with Kevin De Bruyne and Willian. That is quite a massive improvement in quality.