Chelsea have been hit with the news that they will definitely serve a two-window transfer ban after they had their appeal rejected by FIFA.
It all started with investigations into the club’s signings of foreign U18 players in which Chelsea were found guilty of breaching regulations. The ban initially induced in February will loom over Chelsea’s heads until the Summer of 2020.
In light of this ban, just to what extent will this affect Maurizio Sarri’s side and how can they ensure minimal damaged is caused in a crucial next season for the Blues.
This squad has done well
Firstly, it must be asked if Chelsea would even want to change this side too much. The average age of the team is decent and has gotten Chelsea into third place in the Premier League with only one game left to play.
Also, there is the small matter of the Europa League to refer to. This squad has been the most impressive side in the competition and have gone the whole tournament without losing and scoring the most amount of goals along the way.
They look well on their way to reach the final in what has to be regarded as a successful first season under Sarri.
So why are changes needed?
Dropping like flies
Well, one reason this ban will serve as a blow is because Chelsea are already guaranteed to lose players. Gary Cahill is on his way, Mateo Kovacic, you may have forgotten, is just a loan player and will have no choice to return back to Real Madrid.
Willy Caballero and David Luiz are also out of contract at the end of the season. You can’t help but feel that Chelsea would be in serious trouble if they weren’t to hold onto at least one of them. Oh, and Gonzalo Higuain is another loan player who they will be unable to sign.
Combine this with the typical talk of Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid and frustration of Olivier Giroud who may look for more regular playtime elsewhere and Chelsea have some real problems to resolve… without the tools of the transfer market that is.
Come of the hour, come of the youth:
Chelsea received this transfer ban because of their heavy, heavy investment in using, signing, loaning and selling their youth players. Now it is time for them to pay Chelsea back with their actual involvement.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are leading the line for youth players to break into this Chelsea team. This transfer ban may, in fact, serve as a blessing in disguise and uncover some hidden gems in their vast amount of youth players that Chelsea own.
Luiz and Cahill gone? Enter Fikayo Tomori who has been exceptional for Derby County this season and won their Player of the Year award in helping them clinch the play-offs.
So too did Mason Mount, another player who has blossomed under Frank Lampard at Derby. In the absence of Kovacic, Mount may just be the creative answer to the Croatian’s departure… sorry Derby.
Tammy Abraham is yet another player who will feature in the Championship play-offs with Aston Villa and is the second highest scoring player in the division with 25 goals. With another year of experience and goalscoring, it might be wise for Chelsea to give him a chance given their current state.
The American dream
Christian Pulisic’s arrival will feel like a dream to Chelsea, especially if Hazard if finally let out. His transfer for the upcoming season was agreed before their ban meaning he will be Chelsea’s last signing until next Summer… no pressure.
Pulisic is Chelsea’s last roll of the dice ahead of next season. With players set to leave in all areas of the pitch, none will concern the Blues more so than their attack. The American who has performed exceptionally this season in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund has to carry on that same form in the Premier League if Chelsea are to survive this ban.