Chelsea FC's summer transfers: Addressing future potential, not present experience

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Pre Season Friendly
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Pre Season Friendly / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Chelsea FC has made another early move in the transfer window, securing the signing of Marc Guiu from Barcelona. This acquisition underscores Chelsea's strategy of investing in youth and potential. Earlier this month, the Blues signed 18-year-old Omari Kellyman from Aston Villa for £19 million and finalized the deal to bring Estevao Willian to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2025. These proactive moves by the board indicate a clear intent and willingness to spend.

However, despite this ambition, the significant issue identified last season remains the squad's lack of experienced players, as highlighted by fans, pundits, and former manager Mauricio Pochettino. Last season, Chelsea's starting XI had an average age of 24 years and 280 days, the second youngest in the league behind Burnley's 24 years and 257 days. Burnley struggled significantly and faced relegation.

While Chelsea fared better due to their quality, they still suffered at key moments due to a lack of experienced players who could manage the game's tempo and close out matches, exemplified by the 2-2 draws against Sheffield United and Burnley. Chelsea would have fielded the youngest starting XI had it not been for the 39-year-old Thiago Silva, who has now departed the club.

Since the start of June, Chelsea has been linked with numerous players, but there is no clear indication that they are pursuing experienced heads in the market. Below is a list of players Chelsea has signed or been linked with, along with their ages and statuses:

  • Estêvão Willian (17): Signed for Chelsea
  • Omari Kellyman (18): Signed for Chelsea
  • Marc Guiu (18): Signed for Chelsea
  • Jhon Duran (20): Linked/Interest Cooled
  • Samu Omorodion (20): Linked/Bid Rejected
  • Benjamin Šeško (21): Signed New Deal with RB Leipzig
  • Nico Williams (21): Linked/Considered Too Expensive
  • Michael Olise (22): Joined Bayern Munich
  • Jonathan David (24): Linked
  • Julian Alvarez (24): Linked/Considered Too Expensive
  • Tosin Adarabioyo (26): Signed for Chelsea
  • Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (25): Linked/Strong Interest

Among these, only Tosin Adarabioyo (26) is over 25 and brings three years of Premier League experience, yet he is not guaranteed a starting role under Enzo Maresca. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall is being considered for the midfield, which is already crowded with talent. The varied profiles of the linked players suggest a lack of a cohesive transfer strategy, appearing more like a wishlist than a targeted shortlist.

The sporting directors should consider the importance of adding experienced players to this youthful team to guide them through another new chapter under a new manager. Chelsea narrowly missed a Champions League spot, finishing sixth with 63 points, just five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa. The difference between three points and one could hinge on the presence of veteran players.

While Chelsea's current financial prudence is commendable, not resorting to exorbitant spending as in the past, and addressing the squad's need for experience remains crucial. As the transfer window progresses, it is hoped that the club will recognize and promptly address this gap.