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Chelsea Premier League season review

Boehly, signings and chaos

Trying to succinctly summarise what happened at Chelsea this season certainly isn’t an easy task, but here goes.

It was the first season of the Todd Boehly era, after Roman Abramovich had been sanction by the U.K. government, following Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine.

Technical director Marina Granovskaia and advisor Petr Čech both left the club too, crucially leaving Boehly and Head Coach Thomas Tuchel to do everything.

In the summer, Boehly spent big, with Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and others acquired arriving at the cost of over £250 million.

However, after a falling out with the ownership, Tuchel was sacked a mere five days after the transfer deadline, with a 1-0 defeat to GNK Dinamo Zagreb the catalyst for his departure.

In came Graham Potter from Brighton, handed a five-year contract, with head of recruitment Kyle Macaulay, who he’d worked alongside at Östersund, Swansea and Brighton, coming too.

The Blues went into the World Cup break following three successive defeats, before winning only one of nine league fixture in January and February.

But Potter was given an impossible task, attempting to manage a squad of 34 senior players, seven more editions were made in January.

On top of the £257 million spent in the summer, a further £295 million was splashed out on Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernández, Noni Madueke, João Félix (only on loan), Benoît Badiashile and others.

A Champions League victory over Dortmund temporarily kept Potter in situ, but a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on April Fool’s Day was no laughing matter, as Potter was dismissed the following day.

Then, and no one could foreseen this at the start of the season, having guided Everton to the brink of relegation, Frank Lampard was back in the Chelsea hot-seat.

In his 11 games in charge, Lampard led them to a lifeless Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid, beaten in both legs, also losing six of nine Premier League fixtures, his sole win coming against Bournemouth.

The Blues ended the campaign in 12th and, without the ten points earned by Thomas Tuchel, they would’ve survived by virtue of difference alone.

Chelsea’s tally of 44 points represents the club’s ninth-lowest total of all-time, when accounting for the old two-points for a win.

In six of these eight seasons, the Blues were relegated (reprieved in 1915 following WWI).

Overall, having suffered 22 defeats in all competitions this season, their highest total since 1978/79, it’s been a campaign to forget, and a lot of work needs to be done.

Can Mauricio Pochettino figure out this mess?

For weeks it was very clear that Mauricio Pochettino would be Chelsea’s new manager, with this confirmed the morning after their 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

We’re unlikely to hear publicly from Pochettino until Chelsea’s first pre-season fixture, facing Wrexham in North Carolina on 19 July, but he has a lot of work to do before then.

As it stands, Denis Zakaria and João Félix will depart, as their loan spells are over, while N’Golo Kanté is out of contract.

Club captain César Azpilicueta could also leave, even though his contract has one more year to run.

Even after that, including returning loanees, Pochettino has an eye-watering 41 senior players in his squad.

Given that Chelsea will not be in Europe next season, at least 15, maybe more, of those players will have to go, and that’s before any editions are made.

A new goalkeeper is likely to come in, as Kepa Arrizabalaga and Édouard Mendy continue to underwhelm.

Meantime, will there be a place for Romelu Lukaku, or will the Belgian striker demand to stay at Inter, who certainly can’t afford to pay any sort of substantial fee for him?

There are numerous players up for sale, looking at you Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, but everyone knows that they need to sell, so no sensible club is going to come in with a big offer for these outcasts.

In stead, homegrown players such as Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Levi Colwill, who they’d ideally likely to keep, may have to be sacrificed, as they’re the only ones attracting any serious interest.

Enzo Fernández and Mykhailo Mudryk are both on eight-year contracts so, whether he likes it or not, they’ll surely have to be key figures in Pochettino’s team.

In short, a major clear-out is required, with Chelsea reportedly needing to raise around £200 million before 30 June to avoid breaching FFP; good luck with that!

Premier League table

Chelsea′s last 10 Premier League results

Picture of Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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