This might sound like an impulsive reaction coming from a Chelsea just after their defeat at the hands of Burnley, however, every impulsive opinion piece is not necessarily wrong. Chelsea has started the season with 20 players considering Kennedy and Diego Costa’s season for Chelsea are pretty much over.
The 2-3 defeat to Burnley saw 2 Chelsea men, consistent and pivotal squad players Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill suspended. With Eden Hazard, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Pedro all unavailable for selection, along with the two aforementioned players, this leaves the Chelsea squad with just 15 senior players consisting of 3 Goalkeepers! And this squad includes two relatively inexperienced players in Charly Musonda and Jeremie Boga, who have shown quite a bit of promise but are still too young to be expected to carry Chelsea this season.
So, how did Chelsea end up at this position?
Chelsea’s season should’ve been defined by the eye watering £58m signing of Alvaro Morata or the £40m signing of the Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, however, it’s mostly dominated by the massive exodus of young players and non-starters. This calendar year saw Chelsea sell or loan out 20 players from their roster, with 2 impending transfers of Diego Costa and Kennedy waiting to take the tally up to 22.
This lot included the loaning out of Kurt Zouma to Stoke City, selling Nathan Ake to Bournemouth, loaning Reuben Loftus-Cheek to Crystal Palace, selling Chalobah to Watford, selling Solanke to Liverpool amongst other crucial ones.
All these players, whom, if present and available for selection could’ve filled up the Chelsea squad with enough quality to at least pack some punch, if not win every match amidst this selection nightmare.
While these players seem to have lost their hopes to one day don the Royal Blue colours as a part of the first team, Chelsea look foolish now and more like the Parma team which also harboured a huge amount of players on their books but struggled to field a competent First XI.
With only 15 players up for selection from the first team, Conte might have to dig up players from the Junior Squad to fill up the benches meanwhile making Michael Emenalo and Chelsea’s management look foolish and incapable of handling such a huge amount of players.
As a Chelsea fan, this season feels different than the one which ended up with one of our most successful managers in Jose Mourinho sacked and Chelsea ending up 10th, partly because Conte still has the dressing room and the players look determined to give their 100%. However, what good is it to have the dressing room and not be able to play more than half of it anyway?
At this point, even a top 4 finish for Chelsea looks like an uphill battle, unless the board works towards resolving the crisis quickly before the transfer window shuts close. Or else, it could end up in tears for Conte and his men.