Four first-term members have departed (or are in the process of departing) so far this January. Juan Mata is the big name, but Michael Essien and Kevin de Bruyne have also left on permanent deals, while Ryan Bertrand has been sent on loan to Aston Villa. With Nemanja Matic already here and Mohamed Salah inbound, we're down two players. And Jose Mourinho says we'll be finding them from within:
At this moment if we reduce numbers in the first team with Ryan Bertrand going on loan and if Juan and Kevin and Michael all leave, that's four out and two in.
I want to bring in another two because I like to work with a squad of 22 players. These two will be Academy players, that's the way we're going to do it now in order to open the door for them.
Note that one of those two will be Nathan Ake, whose promotion makes even more sense in light of Essien's transfer to AC Milan. He's probably an upgrade on the Essien we saw this season, which is kind of depressing, and hopefully he'll be given enough time to both rest our first-choice players and continue his development. As for the other spot, it's anyone's guess, although I wouldn't guarantee that it does go to a youngster.
Chelsea have demonstrated a habit of acting decisively when the opportunity presents itself -- see the Matic deal -- and if they get a chance to make a big splash, I have no doubt they'll do it. After all, they're building a puzzle, and the goal is to win as soon as possible.
...the most important thing is that we do the right deal, choose the right player, build the right squad.
We are building a puzzle and we want to complete the puzzle in the summer or in two transfer windows, we don't want to complete it in five or six transfer windows or in December 2018, we want to do the right things.
Interesting times are ahead, no doubt.
- Marco van Ginkel demonstrates your next fun core-strengthening exercise
- Mourinho says Mata behaved amazingly well, but without happiness
- Mourinho will push for new John Terry contract, but believes in the club's one-year deal policy
- Manchester United closing in on massive deal with Rooney
- Chelsea confirm Essien sale