Erling Haaland and transfers
AN: Chelsea would quite like to sign Erling Haaland. We’ve said in about six or seven live streams that we’ve done that it will require a lot of patience if Chelsea were going to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. That much hasn’t really changed to be completely honest with you. Yes, Chelsea still has a definite interest in Haaland and yes, they are working on trying to get him but, as we’ve maintained throughout this whole process it will take an awfully long time and an awful lot of money putting a deal like this together. Convincing Dortmund to sell is incredibly difficult. There have been some noises in the last couple of days of an offer maybe going in soon and that may have some substance to it. We may see Chelsea step up their interest in the next sort of week but in terms of if Dortmund would accept an offer from Chelsea from this point it remains to be seen. Sam, how does this situation look from your side of it?
SI: Yes, pretty similar. There were some noises coming across the weekend that it might be in the offing. I think we always expected that it might take some time and it has. The transfer window has been open a month now and there hasn’t been much movement at all in terms of incomings especially and it was always going to be the case with the Euros going on and with players being on holiday like Erling Haaland was. Now things may start to be kicking back into gear with Borussia Dortmund being back at pre-season and Chelsea have been back for the last 10 days. I suspect once the Bournemouth friendly which is tomorrow is out of the way maybe more attention will be starting to look at how Tuchel is going to shape that squad which he’s got because its been pretty make shift the last couple of weeks for the first couple of weeks of pre-season. Now the international players are starting to come back. Not all of them of course but most of them are now there. So maybe we will start seeing some movement in terms of Tuchel deciding who he wants to sign this summer and where he thinks he needs to strengthen and if he’s happy with his lot. Who knows? We just don’t know? Again, as we say every week on these just be patient. Things might happen. The window closes on the 31st August so there is still heaps of time. A deal of this magnitude would take at least a month to be sorted out anyways. Look, it took Manchester United two years to get Jordan Sancho. I’m not saying that will be the same for Chelsea with Erling Haaland but these things take time. They don’t just happen at the click of a finger so, same as always just sit tight and be patient and just wait because it’s not going to happen at the click of a finger.
AN: I think that is a fair look at Chelsea in the entire transfer business. There are reports of Declan Rice still out there and that is a player that Chelsea definitely like. There is Aurélien Tchouaméni at Monaco who I understand that Chelsea met his representatives a couple of weeks ago now and there were discussions there. As we’ve seen this isn’t just a Chelsea thing is it, this whole transfer window clubs aren’t really bringing in loads of players. There isn’t a lot of money out there in terms of away from the Premier League. Not a lot of clubs are in a position to pay great wages so it is a slow transfer market just in general. I don’t think there is any need to panic. Tuchel undertook a meeting with Chelsea’s in house media last week in Ireland and he basically mentioned that he had, had meetings with Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech during his time off. He said: ‘’There is no need to rush things.’’ So that is a good way for everyone to look at it really.
SI: He also said before the Champions League final that he didn’t want to ruin the squad anyways and that there is no need to mess around with it or make whole sale changes and things like that. He has gained a lot of trust from the fans with obviously winning the Champions League, with the board for the same reason. In Tuchel we trust.
AN: He also said at one point if I had a transfer ban this summer I wouldn’t mind. So that is something to keep in mind.
Pre-season trip to Ireland
AN: Mentioned it there the Ireland trip last week. It didn’t really go as planned for Chelsea. They flew out on Tuesday last week and they were planning on being there until tomorrow morning and then they were going to fly back to Bournemouth for the friendly tomorrow night. Sadly, there was a positive Covid test and it was a player and that player is still in Ireland I believe in self isolation. When you’re stuck in a hotel room for 10 days, I’m sure it is not that much fun. Chelsea made the decision after that to fly back on Thursday morning. Their friendly was then cancelled and then they held another friendly on the Wednesday night in which Callum Hudson-Odoi and Armando Broja scored. As I said there it didn’t really go to plan, the trip for Chelsea, in the sense they were meant to be out there for a week and they were meant to play a friendly but neither of those two things happened. However, they are back at Cobham and they are going to be back at Cobham now until the start of the season and beyond.
However, the friendly threw up quite a lot of interesting points. Callum Hudson-Odoi being one of them. From those you speak to around the Chelsea camp at the moment everyone is saying the same thing about Callum. In the sense of he’s looking incredibly sharp and he’s got that five-yard burst back from a standing start that he probably hasn’t had since his first breakout season with Sarri. They are really positive noises for him. I would quite like to see him play left wing against Bournemouth tomorrow because I do think Callum is someone who has a huge amount of potential that we’ve yet to see fully.
SI: Yes, absolutely. I mean Tuchel played him at right wing back didn’t he for the first couple of games which definitely shows his versatility if nothing else. By all accounts he is having a strong pre-season. What can you really read into pre-season I’m not entirely sure which we’ll see first-hand tomorrow at Bournemouth. It will be the first time that Chelsea fans will be able to see how well he is doing in pre-season as well as the game is being streamed. He by all accounts has had a good season. I’m not sure if it is necessarily a bad thing that they came back from Ireland early because being in those familiar surroundings, Cobham, especially with the way the world is at the moment, it might not have been the worst thing. Now we have got the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Rudiger, Kante, Kenedy, N’Golo Kante and Timo Bakayoko is back as well. They were all back at Cobham at the weekend so, it’s not the worst thing that they are all back in their known surroundings of Cobham for the players and even Tuchel. While I’m sure there was obvious disappointment that they couldn’t get the friendly underway I’m sure they would have liked that match because that only leaves Chelsea with four friendlies this summer. So, I don’t think it is the worst thing that happened other than the player who is staying in Ireland, who will not be having the best time.
AN: On those nine players as you say N’Golo, Kurt Zouma, Havertz, Werner, Rudiger, Kovacic, Kenedy, Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi all back in on Saturday. I believe they would have been flying out to Ireland, stayed there and been linking up with them. However, they just got to stay at Cobham which was probably easier for them at home.
SI: Even though it only feels like five minutes ago since the football season ended. It also feels like it’s been a lifetime.
AN: It has been quite a busy two weeks for a lot of academy players. We’ve seen a couple leave to Crystal Palace and Leeds. Henry Lawrence is heading out to AFC Wimbledon. I don’t know if they’ve announced that but it is done and should be announced today. It has been an interesting summer on this front.
SI: It’s been a busy summer for the academy but it has still got that incredible reputation that it has and always will have for developing incredible young talent. The progress can be there but you need a bit of luck along the way as a youngster.
AN: Players wanting to break the loan cycle is going to be something that becomes more common. We’ve just seen too many examples of players as you say just getting stuck in the cycle and maybe losing some momentum they’ve built up. A perfect example of this is Matt Chalobah who went out to Watford at 17 and absolutely stormed the Championship and was probably ready for a role at Chelsea but he did end up going to Burnley, Middlesbrough and Napoli. It never worked back for him ever getting into that Chelsea picture.
Champions League trophy parade at Stamford Bridge
SI: It’s good that Chelsea fans are going to get to see it as there were only 8,000 or so in Porto for the final back in May so, it’ll be a good chance for a pretty much full house to see it at Stamford Bridge. It’s been a while since it’s been at Stamford Bridge and it’ll be nice to see it again.
AN: It will be. It’s been nine years since it’s been in London. I think some people are surprised that Chelsea are playing Arsenal and Tottenham given how close the Premier League season is but, I don’t think there is a lot they could have really done. We touched on the Ireland trip and pre-season being cancelled out there. Arsenal were meant to go out to Florida for a tournament in Miami and that didn’t happen because of Covid tests, so I think it is a bit of a safe bet to be playing just Premier League sides and hopefully not running into too many difficulties.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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SI: I was surprised when I heard that there was international travel in the first place. I was surprised when it first came out. Especially in Florida. I thought it was a risk and it was a risk for Chelsea going to Ireland. They surely can’t have been surprised that this happened.
AN: I’m imagining that it will be Azpilicueta who does the trophy parade to be completely honest. We will see though. Just another quote from Tuchel from his interview when he talked about Thiago Silva and how he might need a delayed start to his personal season which I thought was quite an interesting line. Silva was in action at the Copa America, this summer. Brazil got to the final which was played on the same night that England played in the European Championship final which was July 11th. So, he won’t be back until next week. He is 36-years-old. So, from Tuchel’s perspective it is impossible to chuck him in without more than three weeks of pre-season because that would be around 10 days to prepare. That could be another chance for Christensen down the line to put his name into that team.
That’s it from us today.