For an in-depth look at the Arsenal roster in advance of the 2018-2019 season, click here to read Part 1. This post will be updated throughout the season with notable transfers and other additions to the club.
- Kepa ($88M from Athletic Bilbao) – The numbers don’t look awesome on Kepa, but I think that is only telling part of the story. Athletic Bilbao finished 16th in the league, but they also scored the 5th fewest goals in the league. He made 31 appearances for the side in total and allowed 44 goals with 7 clean sheets, averaging ~1.4 goals per game. However, as I mentioned above, I’m not really convinced that’s the keepers fault because the prior year he started 23 games and only allowed 22 goals with 8 clean sheets. There were a lot of changes in the side between the 6th and 16th place finish, including centerback Aymeric Laporte‘s $72M transfer to Manchester City. Members of his new Chelsea team have already talked about his awesome communication and nerves of steel in the first game of the season. Kepa replaced Alisson as the most expensive goalkeeper transfer (2 weeks after the Alisson signing).
- Jorginho ($63M from SSC Napoli) – Jorginho has been a key part of SSC Napoli’s team playing defensive midfielder (at a very, very high level). With all rumors swirling about members of the team departing, I can’t help but think this is — at minimum — some extra assurance for the season, though I think the talent is certainly available for Jorginho to find his way into a consistent first team role. In his Serie A games last year, Jorginho averaged nearly two tackles, two interceptions and two players dribbled past per match. That’s in addition to adding 1.5 key passes per game and maintaining a nearly 90% pass completion rate on almost 100 passes per game. He contributes in all phases of the game and I expect his time at Chelsea to be no different.
- Robert Green (Free Transfer from Huddersfield) – I think Green is some additional support in the case that they lose Courtois or Caballero, he’s a former regular international and as long as he can keep pace with the game, I think he’ll make a few appearances and probably some good saves.
- Mateo Kovacic (loan from Real Madrid) – Kovacic was part of the deal to get Courtois to Real Madrid, but he should be a great addition for Chelsea, too. He provides an ample amount of flexibility by being able to play an attacking, defensive, or pure midfielder role. He’s managed to accrue 43 caps for croatia and put up good performances in the World Cup — he’s also proven that he can help create. I’m anticipating him filling some of the void left by Nemanja Matic’s move to United last season. He plays best as a ball-winning midfielder focused on recovering possession and driving the counter, and I think that this will fit in well with what Sarri is aiming for in his Chelsea side.
- Thibaut Courtois (Estimated $35M to Real Madrid) – Courtois has been unsettled for a couple of seasons hinting that he wanted to move to Real Madrid, and Chelsea have been notorious “wheel & dealers” for players in their last year that have indicated they have interest elsewhere. Courtois racked up 126 Premier League appearances, conceding 121 goals and keeping 49 clean sheets across that time. That’s good for less than 1 goal conceded per game. The club is said to already be sizing up his replacement which would require a record transfer fee for a goalkeeper (for the 2nd time this season) in Kepa Arrizabalaga. Previously, Chelsea had been very public about refusign to let Courtois go until a replacement had been sorted out, after Bilbao confirmed the release clause had been met for Kepa, it seems like it’s only a matter of time.
- Kurt Zouma ($8.75M loan to Everton) – Zouma has been losing his first team place amongst a strong Chelsea defense and spent last season out on loan. He went out on loan and Stoke last season and featured in almost every game, and this year it looks like Everton is the place for him this year. Everton has had a rough time getting good defenders to come to Everton, and while Everton has added some this year — I think the depth will be helpful to them (and the fee will be good for Chelsea). He also missed a big chunk of the 2016-2017 with a cruciate ligament rupture.
- Michy Batshuayi ($3.5M loan to Valencia CF) – Batshuayi came in for $40M and spent the first 25 matchdays with Chelsea, he only made 12 appearances though he only made 3 starts. After that he went on loan to Dortmund he made 9 starts (10 total appearances) and scored 7 goals. If Chelsea, doesn’t want him for the first team, they might as well get paid for his services.
- Mario Pasalic ($1M loan to Atalanta) – Pasalic has basically been on loan since he signed for Chelsea in 2014. This season isn’t going to be any different, he’s going to play for a quality team with quality competition and there’s a loan fee involved. Win-win.
- Matej Delac (Free Transfer to AC Horsens) – Delac looks to be another case where the player they have is not the player they had hoped they were getting. He spent lots of time out own loan, and now has moved to the Danish first division.
- Wallace Oliveira (Released) – Olivera is another long-term loaner, and Chelsea seems to no longer believe the player will develop into something useful for the club.
Last update: August 13, 2018