Chelsea’s first major signing of the summer is drawing to a close, with Raheem Sterling arriving in Los Angeles to join the pre-season tour, but the Blues appear far from over, with Kalidou Koulibaly likely to follow soon, and perhaps others. coming too.
Coach Thomas Tuchel, who has been given the lead role in the new ownership group to determine the direction of our squad’s construction, is obviously overjoyed to have Sterling after sending Romelu Lukaku on his merry way back to Italy, but also reiterated that Our first priority remains rebuilding a defense that has suffered several offseason exits.
“It started by looking at last season, our performances, our cast, where we think we need to improve and where we can improve. It’s no secret that we’ve lost the best players and we need to replace them. Even if they stayed, we needed to improve to close the gap, so now we need even more.
“[While] I wouldn’t rule it out [signing another striker] but now it is not the priority. The priority now is defense, it’s no secret. From there, we need to see what is possible. [We] need to maintain the level to be competitive.”
Chelsea’s spending on defenders could reach over £100m this summer, with one or more of Nathan Aké, Presnel Kimpembe or Jules Koundé possibly still set to follow the (expected) signing of Koulibaly. This would certainly be in line with our Transfer Tsar’s stated transfer decrees, although it would also be in line with more unfortunate priorities – with young Levi Colwill potentially the next highly promising local defender to be released (presumably only to then prove his quality to the highest level in a short time).
Tuchel assured that the Academy remains a fundamental part of his thinking, although, as always, the proof is in the pudding. Will it taste more like short-term or long-term plans? Colwill is perhaps the most emblematic of the situation at the moment, but names like Armando Broja, Billy Gilmour, Ethan Ampadu, Tino Anjorin and so on can also contribute (and that’s assuming Conor Gallagher already has his place guaranteed). ).
“The signing of Raheem shows what we are capable of, it shows the club’s ambition and ownership and it’s good because we’re all here to win and compete. We love to compete and we love the challenge at the top. For that, we need to sign new quality players or there is no chance.”
“[We] we have top players and, more importantly, we have a top team. But if we bring in players, we need superior quality with superior character and so you’re talking about the best who play this game.
“What we will never forget is the mix because what makes Chelsea special is the amount of academy players and we will never hesitate to give them responsibility and push them because the mix of that makes it special and exciting for me to be manager. and part of it and this is the way forward.”