By Noel Whelan
Noel Whelan has claimed Chelsea were “slow off the mark” in the summer transfer window and “left it too late” to sign “alternative targets”.
The former Leeds striker was speaking exclusively to Football Insider in the wake of reports which suggest the Blues saw a desperate £50million bid for Southampton star Romeo Lavia, 18, rejected on deadline day (1 September).
Chelsea and owner Todd Boehly spent a Premier League record outlay of £271.1million during the summer window (as per the Daily Mail, 2 September) – but confirmed the sacking of Thomas Tuchel just days later (7 September).
Chelsea Football Club part company with Thomas Tuchel.
Ex-Man United star and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville took to Twitter last month (31 August) to brand the Blues’ spending “scattergun and unsustainable”.
The Stamford Bridge side completed the signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Wesley Fofana, Denis Zakaria, Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemenka, and Gabriel Slonina during the summer.
Whelan insisted Chelsea “got what they needed” in the market after an exodus at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
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He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “They were really slow off the mark to get signings in.
“But we knew they had the money and the finances to get who they wanted – and they’re a hard club to turn down.
“I think Chelsea will look back on their window and feel like they got what they needed. But at the same time, they were slow off the mark and there wasn’t any scope to sign alternative targets because they left it too late.”
“They had the players they wanted in mind, and it just kept dragging on and on.
“It’s a good window overall for Chelsea – they got what they needed in the right areas.”
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By Noel Whelan