What has gone wrong at Chelsea after billion-pound transfer spree?
Chelsea decided against signing James Maddison and other experienced players over the summer due to a new transfer rule implemented by Todd Boehly, according to reports. The Blues have been the Premier League’s biggest spenders in recent windows and have splashed over £400million on player recruitment since the end of last season.
Many of Chelsea’s new faces are unproven young prospects, with the likes of Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu and Malo Gusto yet to establish themselves as dependable players for the west Londoners. Their respective captures fell in line with Chelsea’s transfer policy of signing high-potential assets instead of experienced operators with the ability to provide an instant impact.
Maddison was among those available for a move during the summer and eventually joined Tottenham, where he has made a flying start to life under Ange Postecoglou. He would have been a shrewd signing for Chelsea but was not considered by the Blues due to a new rule banning Mauricio Pochettino from adding players over the age of 25, according to The Telegraph.
It is said that Chelsea were set on building a squad that would see them through the next decade, which meant that young players were the only targets. The rule also meant that players like Maddison and James Ward-Prowse, who has flourished since joining West Ham from Southampton, were overlooked in favour of other candidates.
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The general quality of Chelsea’s squad appears to have declined in recent years despite the Blues spending hundreds of millions of pounds on young players. It will certainly take time for them to gel at Stamford Bridge over the coming months, although Mauricio Pochettino will be desperately hoping for things to click sooner rather than later.
Chelsea currently find themselves down in 14th in the Premier League table after winning just one of their opening six matches. Their sole victory came against Luton Town at home last month, while they have been beaten by the likes of Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Aston Villa.
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Pochettino urged his players to ‘grow up’ like a team after falling at the hands of Villa, with the Blues being reduced to ten men when Malo Gusto was dismissed for a lunge on Lucas Digne in the second half. Reflecting on their worst start to a league campaign since 1978, the Argentine said: “We need to grow up like a team, not only in an individual way.
“In this type of game, we are competing and want to win and football is about winning. But also players, when they are young, need to learn, and experience and make mistakes. That’s why we feel disappointed as there are too many situations like this.”
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