Have Late Signings Saved Chelsea’s Summer?

I mentioned earlier in the month that the Chelsea board have made plenty of mistakes this summer.

They were late in bringing in new manager Maurizio Sarri and they struggled to get deals done in the transfer window, with Jorginho the only signing of note.

But in the last forty-eight hours, The Blues have stepped up and brought in two new faces in Mateo Kovacic and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Both deals were dependent on Thibaut Courtios and the big Belgian keeper finally got his move to Real Madrid.

That meant Chelsea had to get a replacement and they targeted Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Kepa.

The twenty-three year old has impressed for Los Leones in the last two seasons in La Liga. So much so, that he won his first cap for Spain last year, kept a cleansheet against Costa Rica and was a member of his national team’s squad for this summer’s World Cup.

His form also caught the eye of Real and they nearly signed the young keeper back in January for £18m before then manager Zinedine Zidane vetoed the move. Chelsea pounced this week and made the Spaniard the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in a £71.6m deal.

At six foot two inches, Kepa certainly has the stature of a goalie and has fantastic reflexes to boot. He kept seven cleansheets in thirty La Liga games last term.

He’s a modern-day keeper, thus meaning that he’s very comfortable with the ball at his feet. That sweeper-keeper type goalkeeper is a big part of Sarri’s style of play.

The signing shows that the Chelsea hierarchy are willing to splash the cash in getting players in that will suit their manager’s game-plan.

No doubt Sarri would’ve preferred to bring in the keeper before the final days of the window but he’ll be delighted to get his man.

It will be very interesting to see how quickly Kepa adapts to his new surroundings and the pressures of having such a big transfer fee attached to him.

The deal reminds me of David De Gea’s arrival at Manchester United back in 2011.

He arrived for a big transfer fee and with glowing reports but he struggled initially at Old Trafford, yet once he settled into life in the Premier League he soon became one of the world’s best goalies.

Chelsea will be delighted if Kepa can have that kind of career at Stamford Bridge.

De Gea has been complimentary about his fellow Spaniard:

“Kepa is still very young. He has a long career ahead of him. But his head is in the right place,”

“When you train with him you realise that he has a very high level. He is a great goalkeeper. He needs to continue to compete at this level and grow game after game.”

Having veteran keeper Willy Caballero at the club could be vital for Chelsea just in case Kepa needs some time out of the first team as he gets used to the rigours that come with English football.

The Mateo Kovacic signing is another one that will fit into Sarri’s system.

The Italian coach likes his team to play in a 4-3-3 formation and having World Cup finalist Kovacic in the middle of the park beside Jorginho and N’Golo Kante could be very special prospect for The Blues support.

The Croatian will be the one that will be asked to break forward whenever the opportunity arrives, knowing Kante in particular will sweep up behind him.

Chelsea have brought in a midfielder that’s very hungry to play in as many games as possible and to prove himself after waiting too long for a chance at Madrid. He’s a good transitional player that can get the ball from defensive positions into attacking areas. He’s also decent in the tackle and managed an impressive 93% passing success record last year.

The Premier League side could rue not having a clause in the deal that stipulates that they can make the move a permanent one in twelve months!

Chelsea could have one of the best midfields in the English top flight next season as they’ll have three tenacious players that can win the ball in the engine room and that will be composed when they themselves have the ball.

I still think Maurizio Sarri would’ve wanted to do his business earlier in the window and would’ve probably wanted another striker but I’m also sure he’ll look at the three new main signings at Chelsea and be happy with his squad.

Hopefully the Chelsea hierarchy can show patience, as the support have shown them this summer, when it comes to judging Sarri’s new look side. The new manager will be bringing in a whole new philosophy and that could be a great thing for the London club but it may take a bit of time to perfect!


One Response to “Have Late Signings Saved Chelsea’s Summer?”

  1. Great signing, well done Blues

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