The transfer 2014 summer transfer window has now slammed close, and there were no 11th hour surprises from Chelsea. Most of the works was done early in the summer, with only minor moves (though noteworthy ones) left for the last days of business.
While the close of business was generally a sleepy bit of time for Chelsea*, it was a very busy summer on the whole. Jose Mourinho has traditionally made massive changes to his squads between his first and second seasons in charge, and while the January window saw the club get an early jump on building the manager his preferred squad, this summer saw massive changes made that should shape the club for the foreseeable future. Mourinho now has his squad, and it's time to lift some silverware.
*I actually fell asleep this afternoon for a bit, and haven't done that on deadline day in at least a decade
We'll start with the departures, and there were more than a few of those. Long time servants like Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, and Henrique Hilario weren't re-signed in a playing capacity, and both Cole and Lampard signed deals overseas. Unfortunately, Lampard's MLS deal has seen him loaned to Manchester City, where he'll likely see a few minutes before NYCFC get going in January.
Samuel Eto'o was also out of contract, and after a single mediocre season saw him perform adequately at best, he was allowed to sign with Everton on a free transfer. Demba Ba was sold to Besiktas, and if he'd rediscovered his shooting boots early in his spell with the Turkish side, he may well have kept Arsenal out of the Champions League. Fernando Torres also left the club in a rather shocking move, even if it had to be put together as a two-year loan because of the player's massive wages and nonexistent production. None of last year's misfiring trio will be back, and frankly, none will likely be missed.
Romelu Lukaku joined his strike partners in making a permanent move away, pushing hard for a transfer to Everton where he'd see little competition for a first team place. It's hard to call the big Belgian's time at Stamford Bridge as anything short of disappointing, as twice he had a golden opportunity to carve out a major role at one of Europe's elite clubs, and both times he chose to leave for a lesser club where he'd walk into the first eleven.
Also leaving on a permanent basis was the polarizing David Luiz. While the center back never managed to be consistent enough to earn a spot in the center of Chelsea's defense, he put together a few impressive displays in the Chelsea midfield last spring which helped propel the Blues to within a game of the Champions league final.
There were a few less noteworthy permanent moves, with Patrick van Aanholt, George Saville, Milan Lalkovic, Jhon Pirez, Billy Clifford, Danny Pappoe, and Sam Hutchinson moving on. There were also a whole host of loans completed, with Christian Atsu, Marco van Ginkel, Oriol Romeu, Tomas Kalas, Thorgan Hazard, Lucas Piazon, Mario Pasalic, Kenneth Omeruo, and Patrick Bamford being the more noteworthy moves thus far. We've also had moves announced for Ulises Davila, Josh McEachran, Wallace, Stipe Perica, Ryan Bertrand, Victor Moses, Islam Feruz, and others which you'll see regular reviews of on Tuesdays.
While the departures were plentiful, the arrivals were just exciting. Diego Costa was signed to lead the Chelsea line, while Didier Drogba returned to Stamford Bridge to provide experience and leadership from the bench. Rounding out the strike force is the versatile Loic Remy, signed from QPR after Chelsea found a side dumb enough to take Torres off their hands.
The attacking band behind the strikers returns completely in tact, marking the first time in ages that Chelsea have departed from their policy of spending big on an attacking band player. They did sign an attack minded midfielder to slot deeper into their setup, taking Arsenal legend Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona when the Spaniard fell out of favor. Thus far, he's looked an excellent signing even if his defensive work has been awful.
Filipe Luis was signed as a replacement for Ashley Cole, and once Chelsea start playing multiple games every week, we ought to see him given a shot to earn a regular starting role. Kurt Zouma also arrived and made the squad after signing last January, though he's yet to debut in the season's first three games.
Rounding out the additions was a very big young man, as Thibaut Courtois returned from his third successive loan at Atletico Madrid to compete with Petr Cech. It's only been three games, but it seems unlikely that the Belgian will be spending too much time on the bench, though Mourinho may decide to use Cech in early cup games to keep the legendary goalkeeper somewhat happy.
With that, Mourinho has his squad that will suit up until January 1, and while there are still a few questions about depth in midfield and defense, it looks a very formidable unit. Vote in the poll below, and let us know what you think of Chelsea's work this summer.