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£200M WASTED

Chelsea’s struggles point to their TERRIBLE transfer business last summer

The Blues are failing to replicate the levels they reached during their Premier League title winning season

Winning the Premier League is sometimes a dangerous phenomenon.

It’s approaching nearly a decade since the last side – Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering Manchester United – successfully defended their crown.


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Chelsea definitely aren’t going to end that run this season and were outplayed by Arsenal as their League Cup dream died at the semi-final stage on Wednesday night.

Conte’s side are facing a disappointing season

PA:Press Association
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Conte’s side are facing a disappointing season

Title-winning sides regularly struggle to guard against complacency the season after becoming champions, particularly when it comes to the transfer window.

Last term Chelsea had the best manager, the best squad and the best player in N’Golo Kante as the Blues romped home with weeks to spare.

But last summer they failed to consolidate their position at the top.

NGolo Kante won the Premier League in back-to-back seasons with two different clubs

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Kante won the PFA Player of the Year award

There’s no doubt both Manchester clubs have blown the rest of the field away with their financial muscle, especially when you consider City spent £130m on new full backs alone last summer.

But this isn’t ‘little old’ Chelsea we’re talking about – this is Roman Abrahmovich’s oil-rich club who have themselves been accused of ‘buying the title’ in the past.

Abramovich’s millions has propelled Chelsea into the global elite

AP:Associated Press
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Abramovich’s millions has propelled Chelsea into the global elite

This is Chelsea. Five-time Premier League title winners and champions of Europe in 2012. This kind of uninspiring campaign isn’t acceptable.

So let’s break down exactly what they spent the best part of £200m on before the start of the current season:

  • Alvaro Morata – £58m
  • Tiemoue Bakayoko – £36m
  • Danny Drinkwater – £34m
  • Antonio Rudiger – £31m
  • Davide Zappacosta – £23m

In hindsight that spending spree has been a shambles.

Antonio Conte has made no attempt to hide that Morata, who started his Chelsea career brilliantly, wasn’t his first choice striker as Romelu Lukaku escaped through his fingers.

The Spaniard is young and a fine footballer but at the moment he looks a huge downgrade on the relentless talents of Diego Costa.

Morata’s form has fallen away in recent months

AFP or licensors
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Morata’s form has fallen away in recent months

The others, it’s fair to say, have improved the Blues’ squad depth but have failed to make any lasting impression on the first team.

Rudiger has been outshone by Andreas Christensen at the back whilst Bakayoko has looked clueless at times, with Conte losing faith in the erratic Frenchman.

Drinkwater has barely featured and Zappacosta is an expensive back up to Victor Moses when you consider Chelsea’s youth sides are littered with young talent waiting for an opportunity.

France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has enjoyed his first season in the Prem and insists Chelsea were his dream team to join Blues level at Selhurst Park - meaning he had to change his hair colour

PA:Press Association
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Chelsea fans haven’t been impressed with Bakayoko

Despite forking out £200m Chelsea have gone backwards – and may fall even further behind if Conte leaves at the end of the season as expected.

And how have they responded? With links to the likes of Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll and Ashley Barnes.

They’ve become way too reliant on individual brilliance from Eden Hazard or Cesar Azpilicueta to overcome teams, with the rest of the squad’s inconsistencies ultimately the reason they’re so far off the title pace.

Hazard must be questioning Chelsea’s direction, particularly given constant interest from Real Madrid and an ongoing stand off over his new contract.

Hazard’s future remains a doubt

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Hazard’s future remains a doubt

This won’t be a project a player of his pedigree will want to be a part if he knows the board can’t be trusted with that kind of budget.

Chelsea have stagnated while their rivals have both caught up… and then surpassed them.

If they make the same mistake again this summer the Blues’ side has a distinctly average feel about it.

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Sanchez has Yeovil in his sights

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