Obviously, that move didn’t quite come off, though it certainly served notice that Chelsea were probably not done making everyone angry with record amounts spent in the transfer market. And we would certainly prove that in the January that just was. Results on the pitch may not (yet?) match those intentions, but there’s no doubt when it comes to willingness to investment in the playing squad. The strategy may be a bit confusing (or scattershot and haphazard), but the intentions are good, don’t let them be misunderstood.
However, for the then 20-year-old Gvardiol personally, it was a fairly confusing situation, as he tells The Times.
“I was really confused because one month before the window starts I was upstairs with the sporting director and he says, ‘Yeah Joško, we are not going to sell you, we need you, we believe in you,’ and I was like ok I am fine with this, I can stay here, I like it here, all I need is to work on myself, to play, to win something else. It was like this until the last two days.
“My agent called me and said that Chelsea is extremely interested and, of course, you definitely think about a serious offer from a huge club like Chelsea. Leipzig said they didn’t want to sell me. In the end I really struggled with that decision but we didn’t make an agreement. It is what it is.”
Incidentally, while Gvardiol doesn’t name names, said sporting director was most likely Christopher Vivell, who is now of course at Chelsea! Maybe a little chat with Gvardiol about how we need him and we believe in him can be had again?
For what it’s worth, Gvardiol seems okay with how things have turned out — Leipzig have turned their season around after their early struggles — and isn’t ruling out staying with the team for another season at least.
“I am here and I am fine with this because my idea had been to stay here. One season was not enough. This is my second season, even one more season would be great but we will see.”
Then again, if he wants to keep playing with Chrisopher Nkunku, he might want to hit up Vivell after all.
“I have never seen before a player like Christoph, he is unbelievable. Every time I talk with someone about him I always say wherever he goes I want to go with him.”
-Joško Gvardiol; source: Times via Metro
Sign all the players!