Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea have finally completed their pre-season preparations after touring the United States ahead of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign on the back of a hectic summer transfer window that featured heavy business in each direction, but has it all been worth it? A former Chelsea has given his assessment of the Blues.
Under a new tactician and a revamped look on the pitch both in aesthetic appearance and personnel, Chelsea’s chance to surprise in the wake of a disastrous 2022-23 campaign may have taken a hit.
According to former Chelsea internal media source Neil Barnett, who spent the summer following the club on its journey to the US and pre-season clashes in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Atlanta, there is plenty to be excited about surrounding the capital side but fans will likely have to taper their expectations despite minimal distractions surrounding a new Premier League campaign.
“Last day in Chicago, final thoughts on Chelsea tour: team well organized, fit, committed, front-foot, young, fun to watch. But collectively short in height, still weak defending corners, lacks finishers, midfield depth, and know-how. A work in progress.
Despite summer business that has seen the Blues secure the services of Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu, Ângelo, and Diego Moreira, as well as the inclusion/promotion of academy graduates Levi Colwill, Ian Maatsen, Lewis Hall, and Cesare Casadei into the senior fold, the Blues remain a dark horse for a push up the table for the European places but many fans have postulated on social media that the club could achieve a shock run to a Premier League title.
Much of that comes on the back of the club being without European football this season in conjunction with acquiring a manager of Pochettino’s pedigree and Premier League track record with Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, and while there is so much to like about what the Blues could become under Poch, anything that comes off well usually takes time.
In that light, league rivals Arsenal are a solid barometer, with Mikel Arteta and club technical director Edu Gaspar needing three seasons to get the Gunners to the level they are now which so nearly ended in a magical run to Premier League honors.
At the very least, given the level of talent that does coexist under Pochettino, much of which is quite young, the future should ultimately be bright at Stamford Bridge.