The Todd Boehly era is now in full effect as Roman Abramovich handed over the keys to Stamford Bridge in May. The men’s and women’s teams desperately need a defensive rebuild if they are to remain competitive next season. Emma Hayes’ side are reigning WSL and FA Cup champions whilst Thomas Tuchel’s side still holds the title of World Champions. Despite their success last season, strengthening their squad’s defence is the expected priority this summer.
Todd Boehly has taken over the club at a time when transfers will prove costly. It will be a defining window for the new Chelsea owners as hefty-priced defenders are seen as a necessity. Although Hayes’ team has become a defensive fortress in the WSL, they have not had much luck in Europe. For two seasons now, their defence has suffered heavy European defeats and they will need to find a way to close that gap to standard-bearers such as Lyon and Barcelona.
Thomas Tuchel could also lose up to four defenders in this summer’s transfer window. It’s quite worrying that Hayes has managed to get off the mark, yet on the other end of the spectrum, Tuchel is yet to close a single deal.
The transfer window is now officially open. It’s time for some deals to get across the line and for Todd Boehly to stamp his mark.
Emma Hayes has hit the ground running so far. Making the first signings of the Boehly era, she has opted for two defensive additions – Ève Perisset and Kadeisha Buchanan. It comes as a bit of a surprise for me with the force of Millie Bright, Jess Carter and Magdalena Eriksson still at the club but this is a move that could shake things up in Europe.
Last season, Chelsea were dismissed from the Champions League in the group stages after suffering a 4-0 defeat to Wolfsburg. The season prior, they found their way to the Champions League final where Barcelona had slotted 4 goals past Hayes’ defence before the end of the first half. The problem is though they’ve managed to concede less than 12 goals in a WSL season for 3 years, they still struggle on the international stage.
The signing of Kadeisha Buchanan especially is an incredible statement for the Blues. She makes the move from French giants, Lyon in hopes to “bring the Champions League trophy back to London”. The Canadian international is a five-time Champions League winner and has been named Canada’s player of the year three times. She was also nominated for the Ballon d’or award in 2015. It doesn’t get better than that in Hayes’ hunt for a Champions League trophy.
On the other end of the spectrum, Thomas Tuchel’s side are still lingering over the signing of Jules Kounde. The Blues have spent almost a year trying to get this deal over the line now. Of course, the difficulty with unexpected sanctions imposed on the club had caused some uncertainty in negotiations, but surely some sort of deal should be announced by now. Chelsea women seem to have had a tremendous headstart yet the men are the ones who have it all to lose.
Tuchel will be without Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for the upcoming season. He could also be losing Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso this summer. The level of urgency to find and secure replacements should be through the roof. Football journalist, Fabrizio Romano confirms that talks between the club and Jules Kounde are “well advanced”. Kunde would be one piece to the puzzle but who will be the next option for the Blues?
Chelsea have been linked with Matthjis de Ligt, Presnel Kimpembe, Alessandro Bastoni and more. It was easy to suggest that Emma Hayes has it spot on with Buchanan and Perisset, but will we be able to say the same for Tuchel who will have full autonomy over his transfers this summer?
Hopefully, we find out soon.