Need to Know: Ins and Outs by Graham MacAree @MacAree

Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

While Chelsea have had a quiet summer compared to last time around, when they raided La Liga and brought back a championship-winning haul, there’s still been plenty of movement. Here’s what you need to know about the Blues’ major summer moves so far.


Petr Cechsold to Arsenal, £11 million

Ouch. Everyone knew Petr Cech was unlikely to consider another season of warming the bench behind Thibaut Courtois, no matter how loyal he might feel to the club. Still one of the best goalkeepers on the planet, Cech is more than good enough to start for most of Europe’s top clubs. Given his pick of more or less anyone, it was more than a little surprising that the veteran shot-stopper opted to stay in London to join Arsenal. The fans were miffed, and Jose Mourinho was miffed.

But the move happened anyway, apparently because Roman Abramovich so appreciated Cech’s towering contributions to Chelsea that he thought it was only appropriate to let him pick where he wanted to go after his tenure with the Blues was up. The Gunners’ gain is our loss, and although normally selling a backup goalkeeper for £11 million would be cause for celebration, in his case it’s very different. Cech is part of the group that defined Chelsea for a decade, winning four Premier League titles, the Champions League and a host of lesser trophies in the process.

He’ll be missed.

Didier Drogbafree transfer to Montreal Impact

Didier Drogba is a master of goodbyes. His first, in fact, was so good that it got a sequel. Having signed off initially with the winning spot kick in Munich, Drogba went a-wandering for two years, briefly flirting with a career in China before spending time with Galatasaray in Turkey. Part of that sojourn included a return to Stamford Bridge, which was the prelude to a more permanent position as the Blues number three striker last season.

Drogba’s second spell as a Chelsea player was nothing like as impressive as the first, but he still scored some important goals. The bullet header past David de Gea at Old Trafford was a standout moment, as was the strike to get us back on level terms during the vital game at Leicester. Just like the first time he left, Drogba’s final act this time around was lifting a trophy. This time it was his fourth Premier League. Not bad.

We should expect the Ivorian back as a coach before very long, but he still thinks he has enough in the tank to play on for a few seasons yet. He’ll do so in Canada with the Montreal Impact, and despite his age few would bet against Drogba from excelling in MLS.

Filipe Luissold to Atlético Madrid, £14 million

Filipe Luis came in from Atlético Madrid at the end of last season as a La Liga champion, and returns to his old club a Premier League one. Brought in for £16 million, Luis had had an outstanding season in Spain and was expected to challenge Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea’s starting left back. Instead, he became yet another of Dave’s victims. Azpilicueta had killed off the Chelsea careers of both Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand, so perhaps it’s not too surprising that he proved difficult for Luis to unseat. At any rate, the Brazilian is off back to Atlético for something close to what the club paid for him, which means his Chelsea tenure was something like a very strange season-long loan.

Standout moments were few and far between — that’s the nature of living on the bench — but the free kick against Derby in the Capital One Cup means that Chelsea supporters will have at least one thrilling memory of the left back. As of writing, the club has yet to replace him, leaving them without any reserve fullbacks.

Photo: Steve Parkin/AFP/Getty Images


Asmir Begovicbought from Stoke City, £8 million

With Cech sold, Chelsea needed a backup goalkeeper behind Courtois, and ultimately decided to consummate a long-standing interest in Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic. Linked to the Blues repeatedly before Courtois’ emergence as one of the world’s best young keepers, the Bosnian international never quite managed to make the switch to Stamford Bridge before this season, when he was finally pried away from the Potters for £8 million. Although he’s expected to be second-choice, he’s good enough between the sticks to start in the Premier League, leaving Jose Mourinho with plenty of insurance should his number one get hurt. Begovic’s arrival ensures that Chelsea will have the strongest goalkeeping corps in the league for yet another season.

Radamel Falcaoloan from Monaco

Just like Begovic, Radamel Falcao arrives years after being first linked to a Chelsea switch. The former Porto and Atlético Madrid man was once one of the most feared strikers in world football, and it’s no surprise that Chelsea were interested during the sub-halcyon days of trotting out Fernando Torres as the Blues main striker. It’s safe to say that Falcao’s star has dimmed since then — his injury and subsequent spell at Manchester United did him no good at all — but on a relatively cheap one-year deal, he’s all upside.

Or, at least, he would be had he not been handed the famously cursed number nine shirt. Expect him to be eaten by a shark in mid-November or something.


We Ain't Got No History's 2015/16 season preview was edited by Joe Tweeds and designed by Graham MacAree. If you've enjoyed the work of the authors who generously donated their time to this project, please share with your friends and consider supporting The Chelsea Foundation as a way of saying thank you.