Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has recently halted stadium plans, citing an ‘unfavourable investment climate’. It comes after the 51-year-old was recently denied a UK Visa renewal, forcing him to seek residence in Israel.
It’s already been a bad summer for Chelsea supporters. Their owner is currently denied visitation in the United Kingdom, there’s uncertainty over who will be manager next season and a number of important players could be on their way out in the coming weeks.
Chelsea are falling apart and could be in for a rough season.
Player recruitment has been disappointing
After winning the Premier League title in 2016/17, Chelsea would have been hoping to strengthen the squad for a credible title challenge, but the Blues instead finished outside of the top-four. They won the FA Cup earlier this month but bowed out of the Champions League to Barcelona in the last-16 and to Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final.
The squad had barely improved from the previous season, with additions such as Willy Caballero (Manchester City), Davide Zappacosta (Torino), Emerson (AS Roma), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Ross Barkley (Everton), Tiemoué Bakayoko (AS Monaco) and Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) struggling to make an impact in their debut season.
Only Antonio Rüdiger (AS Roma) and Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) came away with any credit. Chelsea came under a lot of criticism for letting Nemanja Matic join Manchester United and Diego Costa return to Atletico Madrid, given their replacements have flopped, and it’s unknown what direction the club are currently going in.
No clarity on who will be Chelsea manager next season
Antonio Conte is currently the Chelsea manager, but he looks on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer after the Blues’ disappointing campaign. He made it publicly clear he wasn’t happy with the decision to sell Matic and sign some players 12 months ago and could leave before the end of his contract as a result.
Chelsea were seemingly prepared for his exit as they were lining up Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace him for 2018/19. However, things are currently at a standstill as Chelsea aren’t willing to pay Conte £9m in compensation to sack him, nor will they pay £7m to get Sarri, so there’s a real uncertainty over who will be the Londoners’ manager next season.
Such uncertainty could lead to a number of talented players jumping ship in the coming weeks too.
Key players look set to leave
Chelsea recently called off contract talks with Thibaut Courtois, as the Belgian goalkeeper looks set to run down his contract and leave on a free transfer next year. As a result, the Blues are willing to sell Courtois this summer to ensure they get some value for him, rather than lose him for nothing in 12 months.
Willian could follow him out of the door too, with the Brazilian forward unhappy with Conte over a lack of playing time last season. The 29-year-old was substituted on or substituted off in 36 games in all competitions and may not feel he’s going to be first-choice anymore at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard has said he’s waiting to see what players are signed before he commits his future to Chelsea, which sounds like he could be on his way out this summer too. The Blues are in a real mess and aren’t likely to have a good season in 2018/19 as a result.