Despite the increase in personnel during the winter break, Chelsea only drew 0-0 in the London derby against Fulham on Friday in the Premier League. Subsequently, the Blues were lampooned by Gary Lineker.
“If Chelsea are willing to spend big in the summer they could be dangerous,” the former England striker wrote sarcastically on Twitter.
The background: The Blues bought new players in January for 330 million euros and since the takeover of the club by Todd Boehly for a total of over 600 million euros. Three newcomers were in the starting XI against Fulham in Enzo Fernández, Michailo Mudryk and Benoît Badiashile.
So far it has been of little use. While Chelsea had a number of good chances, including Kai Havertz hitting the post just before half-time, they put up a poor showing overall and are ninth in the league, 20 points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
“Chelsea is in the dirt,” wrote the English newspaper The Sun. The Mirror wrote of a “desperate search for a win that Chelsea hopes will finally get the season going”.
Chelsea FC: Potter misses “bonding and understanding”
“We didn’t create enough chances up front. There’s a bit of a lack of connection, fluidity and understanding in our game. That’s understandable given that some players are newcomers or come back from injury,” said coach Graham Potter.
In addition to the newcomers, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling, three players who had been missing recently, were allowed to play from the start.
“I’m confident about our potential,” Potter continued: “We now have to form the team as a unit. That’s the challenge for the coming days.”
There’s a week left for that: next Saturday, Chelsea travel to West Ham United, before four days later the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 at Borussia Dortmund is on the agenda.