Chelsea 2018-2019 Transfer Review, Part 1

Note: As we cover more of the top teams in the Premier League – especially the “Big Six,” the individual transfer write-ups will feature a look at the overall roster (as Part 1), followed by a separate post that will contain the individual transfers to/from the team, which will be updated as appropriate (as Part 2). 
Chelsea has gone through a lot since winning the Premier League in 2016-2017, they had a falling out with some big name players, which caused a rift between the manager and the management, which ultimately would cost Antonio Conte his job. By no means was this a record fall (that honor belongs to Leicester City who won the league in 2015-2016 but only managed 12th the following year), but for Chelsea fans not making the Champions League is a bitter pill to swallow.
Chelsea is a bit of an interesting animal, looking from a statistical standpoint — I really don’t find any areas that concern me. Their goals allowed (Tied for 4th in the league), goals scored (6th) are more than serviceable, and their goal difference puts them right at where they finished the season (5th). I do think that there is room for discussion on the points dropped from losses, which is the reason they dropped from Champions League contention. Chelsea lost double (10) the games that the 4th-placed Liverpool team did (5) and even mere draws would put them on the cusp of the top 4. Now, for last season — even if they had tied those 5 additional games they still would have lost out on Champions League soccer because of the massive goal difference between Liverpool (+46) and Chelsea (+24).
The frustrating part about this is that it’s not any of the normal culprits; allowing goals late game, dropping points from winning positions away from home, falling off in the second half, etc. I think really it just has to be chalked up to poor form or the players not coming to the games ready to close them out. They also had a lot of 0-0 draws, which is definitely worth consideration also; although, honestly, Chelsea just didn’t play like Chelsea last year, I expect them to come back with a vengeance for 2018-2019.

The final component of this Chelsea team that seems worrying comes from Conte; shortly after their winning campaign he notified Diego Costa that his services would no longer be needed. Since that time there seems to be a turnstile of players heading for the exits, whether by seeking moves or my public stating their interest in being somewhere else (or both — Ahem, Eden Hazard). In addition to this, there doesn’t really seem to be a firm understanding of who will actually be staying. There have been transfer rumors regarding Willian, N’Golo Kanté, Eden HazardThibaut Courtois,Willy CaballeroÁlvaro Morata, and last year they did let Matic go. I just can’t believe that this is a healthy situation for these players to be in — it almost feels like a “who’s next” sort of situation.
To see a breakdown of Chelsea’s individual transfers this season, please click here for Part 2, which will be updated throughout the season with the latest transfers and other notable additions to the club.

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