Chelsea, in signing a number of first-choice targets, have had a very successful transfer window, reports Liam Twomey on transfer deadline day. Players are far more likely to leave the bloated squad than join, but anything is possible on deadline day. The Athletic has assessed their window below…
What business can we expect today?
Chelsea’s only remaining transfer target in this window is Declan Rice, but West Ham’s reluctance to even consider selling right now makes a deal unlikely — particularly if Marina Granovskaia can’t generate money from players on the fringes of a bloated first-team squad.
The signs on that front aren’t positive — Marcos Alonso’s likeliest destination is Inter Milan on loan, while Antonio Rudiger only seems to be generating loan interest.
Frank Lampard has been open about his desire for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to get more regular game time elsewhere. Temporary homes also need to be found for Jake Clarke-Salter, Baba Rahman, Victor Moses, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Marco van Ginkel and Charly Musonda.
One player who won’t be leaving Stamford Bridge today, however, is Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Will any negotiations roll over into January?
Chelsea’s courtship of Rice has the feel of a long-term saga that could rumble on all the way until the end of the season — West Ham’s negotiating position would weaken considerably if they get relegated from the Premier League.
If, as expected, Edouard Mendy plays significant minutes in goal at Kepa Arrizabalaga’s expense, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kepa push for a move, likely on loan, in January.
Hudson-Odoi and Fikayo Tomori, two ambitious academy graduates keen to maintain their development, could be similarly proactive if things don’t go their way in the next two months.
What has been the best bit of business Chelsea have done?
If he can still produce enough flashes of his peak quality to bring order to Chelsea’s leaky defence, Thiago Silva’s arrival on a free transfer will be the clear winner.
There are plenty of alternative candidates but for the club’s long-term future, the acquisition of Havertz is probably the most significant boost.
What is the big regret of the transfer window?
Having signed a remarkable number of their first-choice targets, Chelsea should have few regrets.
If their defence continues to leak goals and Mendy isn’t a clear upgrade on Kepa, however, Lampard will surely wish the club had devoted more resources to the clearest weak points in this team.
Where are they still short?
Chelsea need a true midfield destroyer to help balance this team, which explains the interest in Rice.
But they certainly aren’t short on numbers — if anything, Lampard’s squad is too big to manage right now