When Roman Abramovich took over as the owner of Chelsea FC, he came with deep pockets. So deep that no less than 100 million pounds were spent on acquiring new players in the first transfer window. This has put the club under much criticism on how they handle their transfers. It is even argued that Abramovich himself changed the entire way transfers are handled in world football.
In the past Chelsea has spent large amounts of money on players who were already established, and would be penciled into the starting XI from the start. Think of players like Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard, Michael Essien, Fernando Torres etc. In this most recent January transfer window, the Blues have went away from that strategy a bit, focusing on adding players for the future, or ones who are capable of getting first team appearances, but have yet to reach their potential.
Players Added During the January Transfer Window:
- Bertrand Traore (Undisclosed)
- Nemanja Matic (21 million pounds)
- Mohamed Salah (11 million pounds)
- Kurt Zouma (12.5 million pounds)
Traore was loaned to Vitesse Arnhem, giving the promising youngster a chance to earn first team action and continue to improve. Zouma, a highly touted central defender, will stay with St. Etienne for the remainder of the season. This will allow him to continue to make regular appearances in a top league, instead of jumping right into the rigors of the Premiership. More on him here
Additionally, the purchases of Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah both seem to be good pieces of business. Matic’s return to Stamford Bridge can be seen as a Michael Essien replacement, and with Frank Lampard not getting any younger, he should be a mainstay in central midfield and/or defensive midfield for years to come. Though with Chelsea having such a deep midfield group, Matic probably will not be a starter game in and game out. This isn’t entirely bad, as it may take him some time to get used to the Premier League. He’ll be a solid contributor now, and will hit the ground running this coming off-season.
Mohamed Salah is a January signing who will contribute more in the future than right away. Some have joked Chelsea bought him only for his impressive displays against the Blues in European competitions. While Salah certainly has burned us in the past, the signing should pay dividends down the road. He’s a “do it all” type of winger that fits the Mourinho mold perfectly. Salah has decent size, along with good footwork and pace. He isn’t afraid to challenge defenders when on the ball, but will also track back and perform his defensive duties when asked.
At first glance, this can be considered another productive transfer window for the Blues. They added four players, who all have the potential to secure a consistent starting XI spot in the future. . They also did so without splashing a ton of money, something they have been known to do in the past. Hopefully by this time next season we can look back at the January 2014 transfer window as a successful one.