At 17:00 yesterday, Thursday, August 8, 2019, the 2019 summer transfer window in the Premier League (and Championsip) slammed shut. Transfer windows, as we know, don’t ever just close. They slam.
Two hours later, at 19:00, the shutters came down as well, signaling the end of the two-hour grace period during which teams could still submit paperwork for done deals — as per the Premier League’s Twitter account, six such deals were submitted.
Teams in the top two English divisions are now not allowed to sign any new players from other teams, though free agents can still be added and the final squad registrations aren’t due until after the rest of Europe closes their windows on September 2 (with a few exceptions like Italy, where the window closes the week prior).
Of course, as far as Chelsea were concerned, new signings weren’t going to happen anyway. And that is massively unfortunate and even concerning in some sense, with the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Nicolas Pépé, and Luka Jović making moves, and most Premier League teams strengthening markedly, but the club had made the decision to start serving the two-window FIFA transfer ban this summer, rather than appeal it with CAS. While it may yet get lifted for January, the upshot of it all is that we’re now at least halfway through serving that ban.
And we still managed to sign a player!
INCOMING / NEW PLAYERS:
Mateo Kovačić (from Real Madrid) — £40m
Christian Pulisic (from BVB) — £60m
Pulisic was actually signed in January, then loaned back to Borussia Dortmund, but he’s much more of a new signing than Kovačić, who was already here on loan. It was that loophole, which allowed Chelsea to sign him despite the transfer ban. The ban actually prevents new “registrations” rather than new “signings” per se — and Kovačić was already registered as a Chelsea player! Fortuntely, we did not exercise the same loophole on Gonzalo Higuaín.
INCOMING / NEW COACHES:
Frank Lampard, Jody Morris, Chris Jones, Joe Edwards (internal promotion), Eddie Newton (internal promotion), Hilário (internal promotion), Petr Čech (technical advisor), Claude Makélélé (technical mentor). These aren’t, strictly speaking, actual transfers, but they feel almost as significant.
The youth coaching set up was shuffled around as well, with Andy Myers taking over at the U23 level, assisted by Jon Harley (internal promotion) and Eric Ramsay (new signing), and Ed Brand taking over at the U18 level, assisted by James Simmonds (internal promotion).
THE YOUTH REVOLUTION:
Going hand-in-hand with the new coaching staff are the Chelsea Academy Eight, on whom all just might depend this season: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (new contract!), Callum Hudson-Odoi (new contract?), Mason Mount (new contract!), Tammy Abraham (new contract?), Reece James (new contract?), Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori (new contract?), and third goalkeeper Jamie Cumming (new contract!).
OUTGOING / FIRST-TEAM:
Eden Hazard (to Real Madrid) — £90m
David Luiz (to Arsenal) — £8m
Gary Cahill (to Crystal Palace) — free
Rob Green (retired)
Álvaro Morata (to Atlético Madrid) — £50m
After seven years, Hazard has moved on. And if that wasn’t era defining already, both Gary Cahill (expected) and David Luiz (shock), the two starters against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final, have left as well. They both ended up at London-based teams, too, though one can only assume their homecoming receptions will be drastically different.
And while Álvaro Morata is technically just on loan at Atlético this season, this transfer for next summer is already agreed.
OUTGOING / YOUTH & LOANEES:
Chelsea collected transfer fees totaling about £30m for Ola Aina, Jay Dasilva, Victorien Angban, Tomáš Kalas, Daishawn Redan, and Kasey Palmer.
The club also released or let go for free 12 players: Kylian Hazard, Fankaty Dabo, Brad Collins, Eduardo, Joseph Colley, Renedi Masampu, Jared Thompson, Ruben Sammut, Marcin Bułka, Martell Taylor-Crossdale, Josimar Quintero, Kyle Scott
LOAN ARMY 2019:
We had been expecting to start cutting down on the number of loanees with new FIFA regulations incoming, and sure enough we’re only at 19 right now, which is roughly half the usual amount. While a few more will probably join before the end of the month, we’re on the right path of reduction.
Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig)
Lewis Baker (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Nathan Baxter (Ross County)
Izzy Brown (Luton Town)
Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield Town)
Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City)
Danny Drinkwater (Burnley)
Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic)
Josh Grant (Plymouth Argyle)
Jacob Maddox (Tranmere Rovers);
Luke McCormick (Shrewsbury Town)
Matt Miazga (Reading)
Victor Moses (Fenerbahce)
Charly Musonda Jr (Vitesse)
Richard Nartey (Burton Albion)
Mario Pašalić (Atalanta)
Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic)
Ike Ugbo (Roda JC)
The futures of a few more players remain uncertain. While David Luiz’s departure solved the non-homegrown player problem, we are still one too many for UEFA’s liking (Pulisic counts as U21 for Premier League purposes but as non-HG for UEFA purposes). One of Kenedy, Tiémoué Bakayoko, Davide Zappacosta, of Michy Batshuayi will have to either leave or not be registered for the Champions League.
Of those four, Kenedy looks closest to leaving, though he apparently rejected a chance to join Reading on loan yesterday.
Other players such as Michael Hector (may be signing for Fulham eventually), Kenneth Omeruo (probably signing for Leganés), Danilo Pantić (going back to Partizan Belgrade?), Baba Rahman (linked with a few teams in France), Lucas Piazon (no word whatsoever) will need to figure out their next moves.
Jamal Blackman and Marco van Ginkel also remain on Chelsea’s books as they battle their respective latest injuries.
The season stars on Sunday, away to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Cheslea will also return to the Champions League, while contesting the Leauge Cup, the FA Cup, and the one-off UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool next week.
Here we go!
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