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Football London
Football London
Scott Trotter

Graham Potter already knows next Chelsea transfer plan and makes Romelu Lukaku point

Chelsea had a successful transfer window in bringing players into the club during January. The Blues spent significant sums to strengthen their squad to the tune of £600million, though Graham Potter was quick to note that salary must also be taken into account in these incidences.

The Blues, headed up by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali and their newly established recruitment team, broke the Premier League record with their deadline day signing of Enzo Fernandez, and spent large sums on the likes of Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile and Mykhailo Mudryk. All have shown some promise in their brief time at the club.

However, the club were less impressive in sending players in the opposite direction. Jorginho moved to Arsenal when the opportunity arose but Chelsea failed to seal Hakim Ziyech's departure to PSG. Potter now finds himself with a hefty squad to manage and brutal decisions to reach.

READ MORE: What Thiago Silva demanded from Enzo Fernandez as Chelsea transfer mistake highlighted vs Fulham

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needed to be dropped from Chelsea's Champions League squad while Badiashile, Madueke and David Datro Fofana could not be included. Players will be left regularly disappointed as they are left out of matchday squads too.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Hall were among the number who did not make the cut against Fulham for example and that is with the likes of Edouard Mendy, N'Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic, Denis Zakaria and Armando Broja all injured, while Joao Felix was suspended having been sent off on his debut in the defeat in the reverse fixture at Fulham.

The plan in the summer will involve a clearout. A number of contracts will be left with a year to run and it's unlikely the club will want to extend them all. That may be the next step but for now Potter remains excited by the challenge.

He explained: "January is very complicated, like I've said before. One thing is to be optimal but at the same time we know the situation that we're in. We know the transition period we're in. There's always going to be a case of managing challenging circumstances. I'll certainly not complain, I think it's exciting, it will test me, it will test my attributes and quality and that's something to be happy about."

Chelsea went goalless once again versus Fulham and have only netted three goals in seven matches in 2023 so far. Potter has faced questions over the club not signing a designated goalscoring threat but remains steadfast in his belief that it is not as simple as that. The 47-year-old has acknowledged that the whole team must develop for Chelsea to flourish going forward and even pointed to a reasonably recent Blues transfer in the form of Romelu Lukaku as to why.

"I think we need to improve as a team," Potter said. "Look back, I don't know how long it was, 18 months, from the outside Chelsea weren't scoring and they thought they would spend close to a £100million on a centre-forward and that would fix all of their problems and it didn't. You have to attack better as a team and that's our challenge."

The Blues boss is encouraged by what he has seen from his new signings so far and sees how they can flourish in the future as well as benefitting Chelsea immediately. They may have their role in seeing Chelsea pose more of a threat going forward.

Potter added: "Absolutely. That's what we're trying to do. You've seen the profile of the players that we've brought in - they're exciting. They're exciting for the now but they also think they can improve and get better as the team develops. It's an investment from both parties. It's a long-term commitment so we need some stability, we need some work, we need to progress the team and that's the challenge now."


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