Antonio Conte may have moaned about the lack of headway made by Chelsea’s executives in the summer transfer window, but the fact remains that the defending Premier League champions spent a considerable outlay to effectively strengthen several positions.
Six players arrived at Stamford Bridge this summer and with the Blues spending close to £200 million on them, let’s take a look at who they are and what they can do:
Fee: £60 million*
*potentially rising to £70 million
Signed for a club-record fee by Chelsea, the pressure was on the young Spaniard from the off.
And after an inauspicious start in the Community Shield against Arsenal, Morata recovered to bang in two goals in three Premier League games.
At 24, having won titles in Spain and Italy, the 6’2 striker may lack the combative nature of Diego Costa, the man he has been effectively signed to replace, but goals will surely flow.
Question marks remain, however, over how soon he can fully adapt to the pace of the Premier League, especially if one considers Morata spent a majority of last season on the Real Madrid bench.
Position: Central Midfield
Fee: £40 million
Nemanja Matic’s impending departure to rivals Manchester United sparked an outcry from the Blues faithful, but early signs are promising that the 23-year-old Bakayoko can fill in his shoes.
Primarily a defensive midfielder, Bakayoko will partner N’Golo Kane in the midfield pivot that manager Conte employs and while he is still not 100% fit after undergoing a knee surgery in the summer, expect some solid performances from the Frenchman in the middle of the pitch.
Considering his age, there is plenty of upside from the former Monaco man and standing at 6’1 tall, he adds a physical presence as well.
After Asmir Begovic departed for Bournemouth, Chelsea were in sore need of a backup goalkeeper to Thibaut Courtois and the experienced Willy Cabellero fits the bill perfectly.
During his time at Manchester City, the 35-year-old Argentine proved he’s a capable deputy and as a matter of fact, outperformed City’s No.1, Claudio Bravo, last season as well.
As an added bonus, Caballero came on a free transfer and with the Blues set to compete in four competitions this season, will come in handy during cup ties and in the unfortunate scenario Courtois suffers an injury.
Fee: £25 million*
*potentially rising to £30 million
The question every Chelsea fan had when on deadline day, the Blues shelled out a considerable fee to sign a seemingly obscure Italian right-back.
Aged 25, Zappacosta emerged as a solid, if unspectacular full-back during his four years with Torino in Serie A.
The 6’1 Zappacosta became a full Italy international in 2016 and while he isn’t expected to break into the starting XI immediately, the Italian will be a decent option for the Blues are in for a testing season ahead.
Expect him to be utilised as cover for Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses on the right flank and strive to follow a similar path as Marcos Alonso did a year ago.
Position: Central Midfield
Fee: £35 million
Drinkwater’s transfer is in no ways a poor one, but the fact that Chelsea effectively utilised the money from the Matic sale to sign a player not expected to make the starting XI speaks volumes of the hugely inflated transfer market that exists in England.
No disrespect meant to the 27-year-old Drinkwater of course, but the Englishman is just not at the elite level the rest of Chelsea’s midfield are at.
The 5’10 midfielder will be primarily be utilised as a squad player and he definitely adds depth to the Blues’ midfield, but not much quality.
Position: Centre Back
Fee: £29 million
With John Terry, Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma (loan) all departing Stamford Bridge this summer, the Blues were in sore need of a central defender and in Antonio Rudiger, they have a solid player.
The 24-year-old German international, fresh off the 2017 Confederations Cup triumph with Die Mannschaft, signed for the Blues fairly early in the transfer window and has flitted in seamlessly in their three-man defensive system.
Like most of his fellow summer signings, the 6’3 centre-back, who can play at full-back as well, has plenty of upside since he is relatively young.