• Analysis

Inside Chelsea’s £271m summer transfer window

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The Blues broke the record for most spending by an English club in a single transfer window.

Chelsea completed a deadline-day move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to end their busy 2022-23 transfer window on Thursday.

New owner Todd Boehly broke the bank in his first transfer window in charge of the Blues, spending £271.1m on eight new arrivals.

Let’s review Chelsea’s signings in different positions.

New defenders, same formation

Marc Cucurella at Chelsea

The main focus of Chelsea’s transfer plans was bolstering their defence, where they lost two key players.

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger joined Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, leaving Chelsea in need of fresh defensive recruitment.

Following failed bids for Matthijs de Ligt and Jules Kounde, the Blues went on to add Kalidou Koulibaly to their ranks.

The Senegalese star has a similar profile to Rudiger, arriving at Stamford Bridge after an eight-year spell at Napoli.

Koulibaly will most likely play alongside Thiago Silva and Wesley Fofana in Tuchel’s three-man defensive line this season.

Fofana was Chelsea’s most expensive signing this summer, arriving from Leicester City on a £70m deal.

Tuchel also added a new left-back to his squad by signing Marc Cucurella from Brighton. 

The Spanish star has quickly established himself as a starter at Stamford Bridge, moving ahead of Ben Chilwell in the Blues’ pecking order.

Despite signing three new defenders, Tuchel will most likely continue with his favourite three-man setup in defence.

A trio of Koulibaly, Fofana, and Silva or Trevoh Chaloba will play behind Cucurella and Reece James as Chelsea’s wing-backs.

Late midfield recruitment

Unlike their defence line, Chelsea didn’t make too many changes to their midfield this summer.

The only departure was Billy Gilmour’s move to Brighton on a £9m deal.

The Blues added Aston Villa’s Carney Chukwuemeka early in the transfer window. However, their slow start to the new season convinced Tuchel to make a deadline-day move for a new defensive midfielder.

The Blues signed Denis Zakaria on a loan deal from Juventus, increasing their squad depth in midfield.

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Two new forwards

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Following his disappointing return to Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku re-joined Inter on a loan deal in June.

Timo Werner also left the club after his unsatisfying spell in west London, returning to RB Leipzig on a €19.5m move.

The Blues were linked to the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo as they looked to bolster their attacking line.

However, they decided to secure a sensational move for Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. 

The four-time Premier League winner has found a strong start to the new season, establishing himself as a key player in Tuchel’s new attacking line.

He will most likely play alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined the Blues on a deadline-day deal from Barcelona.

The former Arsenal captain returns to London to become Chelsea’s new No.9. 

More competition between the posts

Credit: Chelsea FC

Chelsea’s move for Gabriel Slonina didn’t get much attention amid their busy transfer window.

However, his arrival could be seen as a crucial step toward building the Blues’ ‘Vision 2030‘ squad.

The 18-year-old arrives at Stamford Bridge after a successful stint at Chicago Fire. 

He will join Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga as Chelsea’s goalkeeping choices. However, the Blues will most likely use him in their academy ranks too.

Mendy has remained as Tuchel’s number-one keeper, but more competition from Kepa and Slonina might convince Tuchel to rotate his goalkeepers more often.