Rumor has it Chelsea is setting up another war chest summer. Talk of Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, and more is becoming more and more prominent. The question is why in the context of everything?
Chelsea had a war chest last summer and to say it revolutionized the club would be a massive overstatement. Just for the first team, Chelsea brought in Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, and Edouard Mendy. How many of those have been a smashing success? Ziyech was before an injury made him an absolute shadow of himself. Werner is only really starting to come around. Chilwell was electric under Frank Lampard but Thomas Tuchel has struggled to find the same. Silva has been fantastic but, even with an extension, he is not the future of Chelsea. Havertz was supposed to be the big game changing signing and he’s barely played at all in recent months. Mendy has been much better than the alternative but it seems even with him the board had to be convinced.
Not exactly a smashing success compared to the cost is it? But Chelsea is taking a page out of their own notebook. They are looking at spending more money to solve the problems that spending money didn’t solve before. Could Haaland and Sancho be great signings? Absolutely. Are they necessary and is there any indication that one war chest has justified another? Not really.
Take Havertz for example. No German player has more potential. He was and still is very much expected to be one of their leading players this generation. But he has barely featured as of late and when he has it has been just okay at best. Tuchel has talked about using him as a false nine and he’s played as an inverted winger, a 10, and an eight this season too but nothing has truly clicked for him.
Then there is the other side of spending more and what it costs. There was a worry last season that Havertz would displace Mason Mount. That was proved unfounded because Mount’s been Chelsea’s best player this season and Havertz, for all his talent, has been nowhere near that. But that’s not exactly the same situation others find themselves in.
Tammy Abraham’s contract is running short and there is a zero percent chance the board allows him to walk as a free agent. If the Haaland rumor is real, it will take a great deal of convincing to get Abraham to extend. He’ll likely be sold and take his fantastic numbers elsewhere in the Premier League as Chelsea hopes Haaland doesn’t follow in Havertz’s footsteps this season.
Billy Gilmour was promised he’d have the minutes to make the Euros this summer but three fullbacks on the bench have been preferred over him. He clearly has the talent and that is another player the Blues risk stalling or losing in the long run if they just spend their way out of issues every summer.
Kurt Zouma was, Thiago Silva aside, Chelsea’s best defender all season for Lampard. Now he can’t see the pitch at all as Tuchel prefers nearly every other defender over him. Zouma has long been rumored to be on the transfer list, even when he was a starter and that only gets worse if he’s not playing.
There are stories like this all throughout the squad and each summer Chelsea buys new players to fix those issues. Rarely does that actually happen. This isn’t to say Chelsea shouldn’t spend this summer but here certainly is no indication that a war chest this coming summer improves the situation after the war chest last summer. The players individually are quality, but Chelsea’s record with translating that talent is poor, their record with using their own is getting poorer all of a sudden, and the targets aren’t even the weak areas in the squad.
Chelsea is a club that rarely learns from their own mistakes. Instead, they tend to keep making them until they finally work. With top four becoming more and more of a struggle and less of a guarantee, that simply isn’t sustainable for the Blues. These rumored war chest targets could help but it feels like Chelsea is trying to spend their way out of issues that spending got them in.