In January 2023, Chelsea spent the best part of £300m on new signings. In January 2024, they spent nothing.
The Blues have big plans for this summer’s transfer window – Napoli’s Victor Osimhen is likely to be a £100m+ target – but, while saving money for that is important, Chelsea have taken the gamble of not bolstering their squad for the remainder of the season. Cesare Casadei is back from loan but that’s not a major boost to a side sitting tenth in the Premier League.
Here are three targets Chelsea should have looked at this winter.
Goals have, once again, been hard to come by this season. Chelsea need someone who can score reliably, and while they’re looking at someone like Osimhen to fill that void in the summer, Mauricio Pochettino needs someone immediately as well.
Al Ittihad’s Karim Benzema was touted as a loan target. That would be perfect but was perhaps too good to be true, with reports of his availability seemingly overstretched. One player who was available for sale, however, was Newcastle’s Callum Wilson.
Wilson does have a patchy injury record but has over 200 Premier League appearances to his name because he is reliable in front of goal. With seven strikes in 14 outings this season, he’s clearly still at a good level. Even if Chelsea flipped Wilson straight away this summer for a small loss, he could have been a massive boost for the next six months.
Full-back has been an area of massive concern. Injuries have plagued starters Reece James and Ben Chilwell, while Marc Cucurella has been out for a while and Malo Gusto’s fitness has been up and down. Somebody who could cover on both sides would have been a smart signing.
Kyle Walker-Peters – who has worked under Pochettino – is shining in the Championship with Southampton, as he should be, because he’s a Premier League-level player. He should be in the top flight and Chelsea could really have done with his ability to perform both on his natural right side and over on the left.
As he approaches the final 12 months of his contract, there’s a world in which this deal could be revisited in the summer.
Chelsea might have built the most expensive midfield in history, but they definitely haven’t built the most effective. Whether it’s tactical or an issue with the personnel is beside the point, but everyone…