The summer transfer window has come and gone, and the debate on how effective Chelsea were in the transfer market is one that will last for a very long time.
For Chelsea legend Pat Nevin, Chelsea had a good transfer window and he likens our signings of Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta to last summer’s acquisition of Marcos Alonso and the retention of Victor Moses – two players who eventually became key in our title victory.
Nevin wrote in his column for the official Chelsea website: “The transfer window is a serious business, it can have a massive effect on what kind of season a team will have. Clubs know this, fans are acutely aware too but what constitutes a good window is usually only obvious many months later.
“The temptation is to consider how good your business has been by comparing it with how others fared with their particular targets. So on the basis of that, Man City and Man United seemed to get just what they wanted, but then again they were not starting from the position of champions. Spurs had a late impressive splurge and Arsenal may say they have had better windows.
“In reality, all this comparing with others is probably the wrong starting point. It is how your own squad looks and that is impossible to tell before we see how the new lads fit in. Remember that the acquisition of Marcos Alonso and the retention of Victor Moses were not exactly heralded at the start of last season, but you could argue they were among the two most influential players in winning the Premier League. This was not only because of their ability to play football but also because their capabilities allowed Antonio to perfectly utilise the 3-4-3 system.
“So in come Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta, while Willy Caballero is back-up to Thibaut Courtois. The first four names are clearly ones who can and will be considered as regular starters at various points. Zappacosta may well make that five as his recruitment reminds me of the reaction to Alonso’s 12 months ago. So that is arguably five outfield players that can come straight into the team if needed. Half a team! This is actually quite a huge addition to a side that has just won the title. By definition, it is difficult to acquire players who can get into the best team in the league, but there is a handful who will not look out of place.
“Of course, many have left and there were quite a few big holes to fill. So the question remains, is there enough to get us through to the next window while still being competitive domestically and in Europe? With a fair wind, I think there is, unless we get a sudden huge raft of long-term injuries and petty suspensions.”