The Chelsea transfer ban
A hallmark of the Abramovich Revolution at Chelsea has been their activity in the transfer market. Millions upon millions have been invested in a Chelsea team that has won two Premier League titles, two FA cups, two League Cups and two Charity Shields. The European Cup has eluded Abramovich’s Army thus far and it looks as though it will continue to evade them as the devastating news that Chelsea will be banned from registering new players for the next two transfer windows was revealed this week.
The ruling came as the club were found guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens over 2 years ago.
How will this effect Chelsea?
In the short term it looks unlikely to have too big of an impact. The club have an impressive squad, despite their age, and have made a scintillating start to the Premiership campaign with a 100% record. However the problem lies further down the line. Injury to a few key players could throw the entire squad off balance and the club do not exactly have a wealth of reserve talent to throw in at the deep end.
The Chelsea reserve team are by no means an inadequate force however should long term injuries occur to the likes to Cech, Terry, Lampard, Drogba or Anelka would the Chelsea faithful be confident on relying on the likes of Ross Turnbull, Michael Mancienne, Miroslav Stoch, Franco Di Santo or Daniel Sturridge to fill the gap and have the West Londoners at the zenith of the Premier League come May?
While those young individuals mentioned are by no way incapable of stepping up and have bags of quality in their own right; this author highly doubts that they can form a league winning team. Given the likes of Ballack, Deco, Lampard, Drogba and Anelka are all the wrong side of 30 the emphasis will be even more on the Chelsea youth.
The Blues have a great squad and an even greater manager. What they achieve if the ruling sticks will be testament to the ability of an already aging team; should they fail however, questions will be raised regarding the reliance on the financial backing that the team enjoys and their considerable influence in the transfer market.