Chelsea transfer analysis: Ban could prove to be a blessing in disguise as Blues trim down their bloated squad and add exciting young talent
- Chelsea are under a transfer ban and couldn’t sign anyone this summer
- But a deal for Mateo Kovacic had already been agreed after an initial loan
- Christian Pulisic also joins the first-team squad having signed in January
- Frank Lampard has an exciting new squad despite the transfer ban
It’s been all change at Chelsea this summer with star man Eden Hazard and manager Maurizio Sarri departing to be replaced by rookie boss Frank Lampard and his army of youngsters.
Lampard has needed to use Chelsea’s reserve and youth teams to fill his squad with a transfer ban preventing the club from bringing in any new faces this summer.
With Lampard facing a tough ask to eclipse Sarri’s achievements of finishing third and winning the Europa League, Sportsmail assesses how the transfer window has gone for them.
Frank Lampard took over as Chelsea manager earlier this summer in a bold move by the club
Chelsea’s best signing
Despite the transfer ban, there are several new faces in Chelsea’s squad.
Mateo Kovacic joins for £40million from Real Madrid having been on loan last season, with the deal having been signed last summer.
Kovacic has proven himself to be a creative and consistent presence in midfield but his arrival is outshone by that of Christian Pulisic, who Chelsea paid £58m for in January before sending back to Dortmund on loan for the rest of the season.
No one is expecting the 20-year-old to immediately live up to Hazard’s standards but the early signs are promising for the exciting winger.
Elsewhere in the squad, returning loanees Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori will feel like new signings.
Christian Pulisic comes into Chelsea’s first-team squad having initially signed in January
Hazard is a major loss, with Chelsea having been over-reliant on him for several seasons now before his £150m move to Real Madrid.
Of the other departures, only David Luiz and Gary Cahill were in the first-team and their experience will be missed with Lampard’s oldest centre back now being 26-year-old Antonio Rudiger.
Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid, £40m)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, £150m)
Ola Aina (Torino, £8.7m)
Tomas Kalas (Bristol City, £8.1m)
Victorien Angban (Metz, £5.4m)
Kasey Palmer (Bristol City, £3.5m)
Jay Dasilva (Bristol City, £2.2m)
Elliott Moore (Oxford United, undisclosed)
Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace, free)
Kyle Scott (released)
Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig, loan)
Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City, loan)
Matt Miazga (Reading, loan)
Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic, loan)
David Luiz (Arsenal, £7m)
Prospects for the new season
For once the pressure is not on a Chelsea manager to deliver instant success or be sacked, given Lampard’s status at the club and the transfer ban. Another top-four finish would be satisfactory with new young faces being bedded in.
Mason Mount will have the chance to impress this season having excelled at Derby last season
Odd men out at Chelsea
Chelsea have trimmed down their loan army with a threat of a rule change coming soon but they still have several stars contracted to the club who all parties would rather see elsewhere. Tiemoue Bakayoko, Davide Zappacosta and Kenedy are all awaiting loan moves to European clubs.
Losing your best player under a transfer ban is never an ideal situation, but if any club could afford a transfer ban it was Chelsea with their bloated squad and criminally underused youth talent. The ban has allowed Chelsea to refine their squad and it could be seen as a blessing in disguise.