Premier League action graced Stamford Bridge once more on Sunday, as Axel Disasi’s performance secured a draw for Chelsea against Liverpool.
Although some optimism returned to west London, it’s the post-match developments that are poised to steal the spotlight.
After weeks of negotiations and competition from Liverpool, Chelsea have reached an agreement to acquire Moises Caicedo.
The Ecuadorian midfielder’s arrival is expected on Monday, offering a potential solution to Chelsea’s midfield struggles against Liverpool.
Conor Gallagher was deployed in a deep midfield role, causing the Blues to initially struggle with their pressing.
However, Gallagher managed to deliver a commendable performance as the game progressed.
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea’s manager, downplayed the need for more defensive solidity after a match where they conceded only one shot on target.
Nonetheless, he acknowledged the need for squad improvement, highlighting the ongoing efforts to enhance the team’s profile.
Pochettino stated, “We need good players, yes… We are working very hard… to improve the squad… to find the right player to create a more solid combination.”
The departure of Enzo Fernandez was prioritized, leading Pochettino to release him for more advanced positions against Liverpool.
This move showcased Fernandez’s talents, as he delivered more passes into the final third and the opposition box than any other player on the pitch.
The acquisition of Caicedo, albeit potentially expensive at £115 million, is expected to further unlock Fernandez’s potential.
With both teams uncertain about their final squad compositions by the end of the transfer window, the match displayed glimpses of form-seeking by each side.
As the game flowed with moments of imprecise play, it remained challenging to gauge their true strengths.
Pochettino emphasized that this is just the beginning for Chelsea, expressing the desire for continuous improvement.
Players like Fernandez demonstrated assertiveness in guiding their teammates, while Ben Chilwell’s leadership emerged as he contributed to Axel Disasi’s debut goal.
The absence of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Pochettino’s comments indicate the likelihood of Kepa’s departure this summer.
Chelsea’s openness to exploring new opportunities for the goalkeeper, including a potential loan deal, aligns with their search for alternative options.
As Chelsea worked to find the right balance and reinforce their squad, the absence of certain players from the lineup, such as Lewis Hall, signaled potential loan moves.
The 18-year-old Hall is likely to join Crystal Palace temporarily, ensuring he avoids injuries or prepares for a forthcoming loan.
In sum, Chelsea’s recent match against Liverpool revealed both their strengths and areas for improvement, with the looming arrival of Moises Caicedo expected to bolster their midfield.
Pochettino’s commitment to team enhancement was evident, as players like Fernandez and Chilwell showcased leadership qualities while the squad continued to evolve amidst the transfer window uncertainties.