Kevin De Bruyne has left the club, while Nemanja Matic has joined. Ryan Bertrand has left the club, while Nathan Ake has been promoted from the first team. Juan Mata's departure is all but official, while a fee for Mohamed Salah has been agreed. Three players out, three players in. It should be fairly simple to make a judgement on this transfer window based on those moves, right? You're certainly welcome to do so, but I think you'd be acting foolishly if you did.
When the transfer window opened, the majority probably believed that we were in for a quiet few weeks. Chelsea were starting to click, and Jose Mourinho was openly talking about finishing the season with the squad that he began it with. Most of us were expecting a depth purchase in the central midfield area, with Kevin De Bruyne likely heading out on loan.
Instead, we're seeing Chelsea make major moves to the squad, both adding talent while allowing other players to depart. It doesn't sound as if the departures will end with De Bruyne, Mata, and Bertrand either, as all of Tomas Kalas, Demba Ba, and Michael Essien have been strongly linked with an exit.
What's becoming clear is that Michael Emenalo and the board are willing to let Mourinho start putting his imprint on this team, and that together they are working toward balancing a squad that wasn't balanced at all when the season began. That's not something that the club will be able to achieve with just a few transactions however, and passing judgement based on the first few moves of what appear to be many makes little sense at all.
Instead of jumping to pass judgement on whether or not the club are correct for selling Mata while 'replacing' him with Salah, it's probably best to take a deep breath and wait. With the club potentially shipping out as many as six members of the squad that started the campaign, there are going to be more than two signings and a promotion from the U21 side. Who and what those moves are isn't something we have an answer to just yet, but with over a week to go and a club that's been quickly closing deals, it's probably not long before we start to see some solid links.
As things stand right now, Chelsea look more balanced than they did on January 1, while having saved a considerable sum on this season's FFP accounting. We're almost certainly not done with our January shopping though, so reserving judgement would be prudent. Wait until the window closes, and look at the squad that we'll be finishing the season with. At that point, we can make an informed decision about whether or not the club are in a better position than they were before.
- Chelsea were willing to sell Demba Ba for £7 million before Fernando Torres was injured
- Official: Chelsea, Basel agree Salah deal
- Even if Mata goes, there's no need for Chelsea to go after Salah
- Chelsea likely done being linked to Falcao after he suffered a serious knee injury
- Chelsea force Liverpool to give up on Mohamed Salah, according to report