As the transfer window was nearing an end no one was quite expecting Chelsea to pull some rabbit out of the hat. Thomas Tuchel too had already expressed his contentment with the quality of his squad and so Chelsea was not looking forward to a deadline day signing.
While other clubs were scrambling to get things done on deadline day, it was a quiet affair for Chelsea. They seemed reluctant to go for players to strengthen their squad in January and preferred to wait till the summer.
OUSMANE DEMBELE TO CHELSEA?
Late at night, there were several reports from the Spanish press linking FC Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele to Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel is reportedly keen on signing his former player. But nothing happened and there will be no deadline day signing for Chelsea.
However, that by no means rules out Chelsea return for him in the summer where they can get him on a free, as his contract will be expiring. Chelsea could be in a battle with several other teams for the wantaway winger. PSG are also keeping tabs on the Frenchman and will be holding talks with him. The Parisian giants will be looking to replace their star man Kylian Mbappe who also looks set to leave.
CONTRASTING WINDOWS FOR CHELSEA
The winter window deadline day was a stark contrast to Chelsea’s frantic summer window. They had managed to pull off the signing of Spaniard Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on a loan. Thomas Tuchel was looking for a defender and a midfielder at the time. The Chelsea executives managed to get one of them done on the last possible day. Although Saul’s stay at Chelsea so far has been far from what was initially expected of him, the Spaniard still expects to deliver and was also praised by manager Tuchel:
“He is more confident and in better shape. A huge step forward was the performance against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup. The adaptation has gone further and you can see he is more open, understands more, and has had much more impact than at the beginning of the season”.
Except for a push to bring back Emerson Palmieri from his loan spell at Lyon, the Blues didn’t look like going after any new signing this winter. Emerson was expected to fill in for the injured Ben Chilwell on the left of defence. However, an agreement could not be reached.
HOW NO DEADINE DAY SIGNING FOR CHELSEA IMPACTS THE REST OF THEIR SEASON
With Chelsea unable to get Emerson back, the Blues will have to think of a way to stabilize their left side. Malang Sarr has been given a chance in the last few games. Tuchel hasn’t looked happy with Marcos Alonso and looks for competition. Saul Niguez will also hope to put on a stellar show in the second half of the season. The Spaniard will want to impress Tuchel and make his move permanent.
And come summer Chelsea will be one of the teams competing for Ousmane Dembele’s signature as the French winger looks unlikely to extend with FC Barcelona. Chelsea will hope to put the Romelu Lukaku drama behind them. The return of Timo Werner will likely improve their luck in the attack. It will be a busy second half of the season for them as they are alive in all possible competitions. The Club World Cup is an additional trophy they can lift this season. The Blues, no doubt, have their work cut out for them.
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