The top story from Tuesday night’s midweek Premier League fixtures has undeniably been Chelsea’s disappointing loss away at Southampton.
Despite Raheem Sterling opening the scoring at Saint Mary’s Stadium, the home side went on to put two goals past Edouard Mendy and complete a comeback win on the night.
More than the defeat it was the unimpressive performance that has Chelsea fans worried about Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Despite the visitors having more than 60% possession, it was Southampton who had more shots on target (7) compared to the Blues (4).
The struggles in the attack have continued despite the arrival of Sterling from Man City and while the Englishman has already contributed two goals and an assist, he has remained an isolated figure up front for the club.
Key attacking players from the last few seasons such as Mason Mount and Kai Havertz have made zero attacking contributions this season while Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have been discarded by Tuchel.
Moreover, it still remains a mystery how Chelsea have not signed a striker given their problems and considering the vacant spot left behind by the departing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
Since Todd Boehly completed his takeover of the club, Chelsea have been linked with midfielders, defenders, goalkeepers and wingers but not one big budget striker has been close to signing for the London team when the team has needed it the most.
While Boehly and co have shown the willingness to spend big bucks on the likes of Sterling, Koulibaly and Cucurella, alongside a rumoured £60m bid for Anthony Gordon, the lack of scouting for a striker has raised doubts over the transfer policy being structured by the American owner.
Following the dismal performance against Southampton, Boehly was under attack from former Manchester United player and pundit Gary Neville for the disorganized transfer policy being implemented at the offices of Stamford Bridge.
After former Chelsea man John Terry tweeted raising questions about Chelsea’s poor start to the season, Neville replied to the Englishman by advising the American owner to spend wisely and not make the same mistakes as former United executive Ed Woodward.
The latest tweet from the former player has also christened Boehly with a new slander name in ‘Todd Woodward.’
This has not been the first instance of Neville criticizing Boehly’s transfer plans as the Englishman called Chelsea’s strategy being similar to the ‘Football Manager’ game while speaking on Sky Bet’s The Overlap earlier this month.
“The American guy, Boehly, looks like he wants to play Football Manager…He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he has to do something.”
“He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea,” remarked Neville.
Being a United supporter himself, Neville’s attack on the Chelsea leadership has not been received well by football fans.
Under the era of the Glazers and former executive vice-chairman Woodward, United have spent loads of money on questionable transfers in the last decade with many of them failing to make a difference on the pitch.
While the list is endless, the likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Morgan Schneiderlin have been disastrous acquisitions.
Having said that Neville’s assessment of poor planning behind the scenes for Chelsea is not without merit.
When the summer window began, Chelsea’s recruitment strategy appeared to be to simply outbid and attempt to hijack targets of other European clubs such as Barcelona.
Furthermore, there also appears to be a lack of estimation regarding transfer prices for players with Boehly’s team sometimes failing to negotiate a better and cheaper price. The rumoured £60m bid for Anthony Gordon is one such case.
Moreover, Chelsea have spent a whopping £98m on defenders (including Wesley Fofana) but yet have conceded 8 goals in 5 matches in the Premier League.
Nobody knows the importance of spending money on the right profiles better than United supporters as the Manchester club appear to be finally learning to spend on required positions such as CDM.
Although this appears to be Boehly’s first rodeo in the competitive field of football transfers, a top club such as Chelsea cannot afford to lose ground in competitions by self-inflicted damages through poor transfer planning.
With the summer window coming to a close soon, Boehly and co perhaps should look beyond the slander from Neville and recruit the right names required for Thoman Tuchel to aid the team to compete for the biggest prizes this season.