Chelsea won the Premier League last season without much of a fuss. The Blues had already secured the title with three games to spare, as Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United could not give a proper challenge to Jose Mourinho’s side.
However, Chelsea have failed to strengthen like their other rivals did in the summer, with Pedro more or less like a panic buy, as the former Barcelona icon was brought in after the Blues’ 3-0 loss to City in their second Premier League game of the season. Radamel Falcao joined earlier on in the summer on a loan basis from Monaco, while goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was also signed from Stoke City to replace Petr. Cech, after the Czech joined Arsenal. Baba Rahman was also signed from Augsburg, with the left-back also a replacement for Filipe Luis who had madr a return to Atletico Madrid.
But the Blues have only been able to amass four points in four league games this season, with Premier League leaders Man City already eight points above the west Londoners, having been strengthened with the arrivals of £49m Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and more recently, Nicolas Otamendi and Chelsea reject Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea’s poor performance could be seen as mainly due to the abysmal displays from those players who ensured the Blues won their fourth league title last term. The performances of Fabregas, Matic, Hazard, Costa and Ivanovic, especially, have been underwhelming. Mourinho tried to strengthen his defence by chasing John Stones of Everton during the summer, but the Toffees resolutely held on to the centre-back. Hence, the need to bring in about three players during the January transfer window in 2016 is important.
Central defence seems to be the focus of Mourinho, as Stones was the one the manager massively chased this past summer. Last season, the regular centre-back partner of John Terry and Gary Cahill performed excellently, while young Kurt Zouma who also enjoyed some cameo roles was brilliant when called upon. However, that defence has been abysmal this season and a player like Stones is now needed for the Blues to retain their title this term.
The Blues should and will reportedly make a fifth attempt to sign Stones during the January transfer window, with the Daily Star suggesting that Mourinho could offer Bertrand Traore to Everton in order to land Stones. But if Everton still refuse to sell the Englishman, Chelsea should look to other alternatives like Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos or Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte.
Chelsea’s regular central midfielders, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas were pivotal to the Blues’ league and Cup triumph last term, but so far this season the Blues’ midfield has been vulnerable due to Fabregas’ defensive fragilities. But Mourinho is unlikely to bench him due to the Spaniard’s great creative ability, as the player ended as the highest assist maker in the league last term.
Matic, on the other hand, has always featured for Chelsea and appears to be knackered so far this season. Other midfielders like John Obi Mikel and Ramires are deemed not good enough to start in the central midfield role, hence, there is the need to sign a top notch midfield man.
This is what Chelsea did also in the summer, but they failed in their bid to sign Juventus’ midfield powerhouse Paul Pogba. But the Blues should return for Pogba in the New Year and try to bring in the 22-year old Frenchman.
First-choice striker Diego Costa has been misfiring for Chelsea so far this term. The Spain international has managed just one goal in four games, while Radamel Falcao – who joined the Blues on a season-long loan deal from Monaco in the summer – has also scored a goal, with the other striker Loic Remy seen as a third-choice forward by Mourinho. Chelsea should look to sign a striker in the January transfer window, but it is not a necessity like the other two positions.
Players like Volland, Paco Alcacer and Mauro Icardi should be targeted by the Premier League champions.