Merson warns Chelsea of ‘potential ripple effect’ after ‘no logic’ transfers

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    I worry for the future of Chelsea when Todd Boehly is handing out eight-year contracts like there is no tomorrow. Football is a funny old game and eight years is such a long time.

    Last season Joao Cancelo was taking football to another level with Manchester City, he was reinventing the full-back role at the Etihad Stadium.

    He was almost like a playmaker under Pep Guardiola – grabbing goals and assists like an attacking midfielder. Now he's been shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich. It's madness. That's how quickly things can change.

    READ MORE: Todd Boehly told Chelsea staff 'get me that man' Enzo Fernandez after World Cup final

    There is going to be a domino effect at Stamford Bridge – that's for sure. It's alright now but in five years, where are Chelsea going to be?

    Boehly and the new hierarchy can't keep doing this because if they don't get Champions League football, they're already in trouble.

    Chelsea have to get rid of players at the end of the season in order to be sustainable but those on big contracts will now be digging their heels into the ground and trying to ride it out.

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    The potential ripple effect is scary and it almost seems like there has been no logical thinking behind their excessive spending.

    Only time will tell whether Chelsea overpaid for Enzo Fernandez – the lad is a good player but when you pay £107million, you would hope he is outstanding. It's a club-record and Premier League-record transfer.

    He was top class at the World Cup but tournament football is also very different to the Premier League and he's not sitting there with 50 to 60 caps at international level. He is still so young.

    Nobody put in a bid for £100m when he was playing for River Plate last season. In fact, some clubs probably didn't even know of his existence.

    Boehly has brought a lorry-load of talent but what's the plan and what's Chelsea's best team? Nobody knows because they still don't even have a proper striker.

    I would like to think Graham Potter is there until at least the start of next season so that he can get a full pre-season under his belt. They've brought in all these players, they aren't all going to gel within a week or two. That's just common sense.

    Potter deserves a real opportunity but the job is very hard. It was difficult enough before – joining a massive football club with massive players but now there are more tough decisions ahead.

    You somehow have to keep everyone happy. You've got Hakim Ziyech for starters who is going to be absolutely fuming after his loan move to Paris Saint-Germain collapsed due to reported problems at Chelsea's end.

    There will be other players that don't even get onto the bench anymore – it's going to be a proper challenge.

    If it doesn't gel next season and you have two seasons out of the Champions League, then I just don't see how Chelsea can afford to continue paying and spending money at the current rate.

    Whatever happens, the Blues are certain to improve in the second half of the season and the likes of Fernandez, Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Benoit Badishile will make them a better team in time.


    I think Arsenal have been so cute and clever in the January market. They have undoubtedly maximised their chances of winning the Premier League title.

    I've seen criticism of the Jorginho signing but I think that is a masterstroke.

    Eighteen months ago after the European Championship final at Wembley, we were all talking about how England will never unearth a player like him.

    He is perfect for Arsenal and he doesn't even have to play every week. Jorginho will help the Gunners dominate the ball and control matches – all for just £12m.

    I'm shocked Chelsea let him go for that. I know his contract is up in the summer but that's a cup of tea to the Blues. He could have shown Enzo Fernandez the ropes but Chelsea's loss is Arsenal's gain.

    I think Leandro Trossard also improves them massively. They now have real attacking quality in reserve.

    Call me mad but the title could be done this weekend if Arsenal win at Everton and Manchester City drop points at Tottenham. I just don't see Arsenal dropping points frequently – nor do I envisage Man City beating them twice.


    I was stunned that Everton didn't make any January signings. Flabbergasted.

    How can you be 19th in the Premier League and still somehow weaken your team in the transfer window? It's utterly mind-blowing. It's worrying and clueless. Surely you've got to roll the dice and take a chance on someone?

    If it doesn't work out, you then have to face the consequences but you're giving yourself a chance. It's not a two-horse race down there, it's five or six clubs going hell for leather and all of Everton's rivals have spent.

    Will they even come straight back up if they go down? It's no guarantee as the whole squad will leave.

    I feel for the fans, they've said it all along. They watch their team week in, week out and we don't truly understand what goes on while we're in London or elsewhere.

    They're right about their football club and the board have failed miserably this window, it's been a total disgrace really. It's crazy how you can sell one of your best players in Anthony Gordon and still not reinvest.

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