Chelsea’s new owners are looking to make our transfer operations “move closer to the Manchester City and Liverpool models”, which sounds great, but are also looking to give Thomas Tuchel “the lead” on said transfer business, which sounds less great. Giving the manager ultimate power is about as old school as it gets!
Modern teams, including City and Liverpool are driven much more by committees and overarching philosophies — the key is to align all the decision-makers rather than giving anyone the ultimate power. Liverpool famously are also using data-driven models that look to exploit market inefficiencies to gain any slight edge, which previous reports indicated that Chelsea would be using as well (just like our owners are already using at the LA Dodgers, for example).
Tuchel, like most recent head coaches, has been heavily involved in our transfer business already, so hopefully this is just some populist bit of fluffy PR from the club to show public support for him. We all know coaches are still the most expendable pieces of the operation should results turn sour. Boehly may not be Abramovich in that regard, but coaches lasting more than, say, three years are exceedingly rare at any level these days. But it’s good that we’re looking to build around Tuchel, our “biggest asset”, by giving him the “loudest voice” and hopefully have him become our
Ferguson or Wenger Guardiola or Klopp — i.e. here for the long haul of sustained success, excellence, and trophies. (Or we sack him in six months and continue our haphazard and scattershot squad-building habits of yore.)
As far as targets, Law’s report mentions the usual names we’ve heard to so far this summer: Jules Koundé is the priority, Matthijs de Ligt or Josko Gvardiol could be others to come in and help the defence. Declan Rice “cannot yet be ruled out” but we are “not close” with any sort of deal for Ousmane Dembélé ... or Raheem Sterling or Christopher Nkunku.
Perhaps more interestingly, the report gives a bit more weight to the notion that Romelu Lukaku could be let go as an example of what giving Tuchel this lead role would entail (even though Tuchel was obviously involved in the decision last summer to bring in Lukaku but whatever).