How will Chelsea's summer signings fare?
Chelsea have spent big this summer and all the signs are that Roman Abramovich and manager Frank Lampard mean business.
With the acquisitions of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, the Blues have secured two of Germany and Europe's most in-demand attacking players. Havertz, who caught the eye at Bayer Leverkusen in recent seasons, has been snapped up from under the noses of Leverkusen's rivals Bayern Munich in a deal worth a reported 75 million euros. Timo Werner, on the other hand, had four successful seasons with RB Leipzig and just last year helped the German side reach their first Champions League semi-final. Werner arrives for a reported 54 million euro transfer fee after Frank Lampard's side bought the striker's minimum fee release clause out.
Hakim Ziyech had been brought in earlier on in the summer prior to the arrival of Havertz, and with Christian Pulisic impressing last season, there is sure to be huge competition at Stamford Bridge for a midfield berth in the starting eleven. Add the impressive Mason Mount to the mix, and Frank Lampard is dealing with a potential selection headache.
Chelsea have also been very busy in the transfer market signing defensive cover, with Thiago Silva's arrival in the Premier League from Paris St Germain, alongside the astute signing of Leicester City's left-back Ben Chilwell for a reported £52 million. Chelsea have also signed Malang Sarr from Nice, with the defender expected to add ample cover for the Blues' defence.
Roman Abramovich has famously bankrolled the club's success over the past decade, but his most recent expenditure indicates that the Russian is ready to pursue the Premier League title once more and wrestle the championship from current holders Liverpool. Man City have been rather busy in the transfer market as well, but nowhere near Chelsea.
It is understood that Chelsea are also on the market to sign a goalkeeper after the less than impressive form of record signing Kepa.
Many have been outspoken regarding Chelsea's transfer activity, including that of Germany national team manager Joachim Loew, who will be closely watching the progress of Havertz and Werner at the Bridge.
“The bad thing about the transfer is that the Bundesliga has lost a top player,” Low said. “But by moving abroad, it’ll help Kai’s development. You mature abroad. Kai was sure that he wanted the move and he’s mentally prepared for it.
“Chelsea is a good club with lots of young players. I don’t think that this has come a year or two too soon for Kai; it’s the right time for him.”
The moves to bolster the club's squad have also impressed outspoken former striker Nicolas Anelka, who believes Chelsea will be challenging for honours this year: “I think they have a great chance to win the title. It depends on what Liverpool and Manchester City will do as well.
“It depends after in terms of the experience of the players whether they are strong enough to race until the end but the quality is in Chelsea as well.
“So I believe first, second or third. We will see a great Chelsea at the end.”