Todd Boehly’s consortium completed a takeover of Chelsea in May and they will need to invest in the squad if they want to win the Premier League and Champions League
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But the biggest of them all will be what kind of club they want to be. Do they want to be champions of England on a regular basis as they were when John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Co ruled the roost?
Or are they happy to just be better than Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United, populating third or fourth every year just to ensure Champions League qualification? If it’s the latter then they can continue as they have been doing in the last three seasons under Roman Abramovich.
But if it’s the former then they need to get back the spite they had when, under Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, and most recently Antonio Conte, they were winning the title. If I was Boehly, that’s what I’d want and what better way to make a statement than an aggressive move to take Harry Kane from Tottenham this summer?
Since Terry, Lampard and the rest of them left, Chelsea have become a team of lovely boys – think Mason Mount and Reece James. But if you wanted to set the tone that you’re going to start rubbing people up the wrong way again then why not get Romelu Lukaku out and put the £60million or £70m you’d get for him towards a monster move for the England captain?
Not only would Boehly and Thomas Tuchel be strengthening Chelsea, they’d be weakening Spurs and that would fire off a major message. I’d also have a look at Harry Maguire as well given the Blues need to reshape their defence.
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I’ve talked regularly about players rediscovering their form and confidence with England after a blip at club level, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Three Lions made the semi-finals or final, or even won the World Cup, that Maguire’s wasn’t suddenly sky high again.
United fans might scoff at that but it would be a good move for all parties if they were to go for him this summer. He could get back to his very best alongside Thiago Silva, and if he could do that he would be a monster signing. Throw in Declan Rice as well and and they’d have a proper, proper spine.
A lot of people fancied Tuchel’s men to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title this season after their Champions League triumph, but they weren’t anywhere near it. When Liverpool won the Champions League and were expected to compete for the top-flight crown, they came back on day one with a businesslike approach and blew City away from the off.
Chelsea, on the other hand, came back all smiles and happiness, and that worked against them in the end. Ultimately, they lacked the ruthlessness and consistency that City and Liverpool possess, and were reminded that winning a cup competition is a very different thing to winning a league.
What they need, then, is to get back that nasty streak and I wouldn’t even be against Boehly and Co taking the same approach with managers that Abramovich took. Second wasn’t good enough and perhaps they must get that back or even a degree of that way of thinking. I’m not saying get rid of Tuchel because last season wasn’t the kind any manager should be judged on.
But getting rid of a £97.5m striker a year after he signed for the club because he hasn’t done the business would set the tone, and if they can get that side of their character back, we might just have a three-horse race again on Boehly’s watch sooner rather than later.