A mistake a championship winning side can easily make is resting on their laurels. Even the very best sides in the world should always be looking to freshen up their squads in the summer with new faces. The risk of becoming stagnant is a real threat to any title holder and it’s an easy trap to fall into when you are experiencing success. The current Premier League champions Chelsea are no different. In the end they took the Premier League title at a canter, perennial favourites from week one.
ebated as having the most complete team in the league position-for-position could lead a manager into continuing to entrust the same players that captured the title. This shouldn’t be the case and Mourinho is far too savvy to fall into the trap. With challengers set to improve their sides in order to challenge the champions you need to make changes or risk being exceeded or simply figured out as teams will be hard at work studying their side from last season in an attempt to topple them next year. Also, Mourinho will want to challenge for Europe as well next season and in order to capture the trophy that has eluded him as Chelsea boss he will need signings. Not signings for the sake of signings, but quality players that are capable of improving his all-round side in some manner. Whether that be as a first team regular or a back-up option capable of stepping into the side and not missing a step. Either way Chelsea will need to add some names this summer, not a lot of names but names nonetheless and its worth exploring; who? Where? And why?
A Mourinho team is always built off the back of a strong back four. Most importantly two committed, no frills centre backs. John Terry is the personification of what Mourinho expects from a defender and this year the Chelsea captain put doubters to rest with incredible stalwart performances expected of players much younger than him. Gary Cahill isn’t a world class centre half but he partners Terry superbly and has made his spot in the side his own. But, with Terry you still should be operating under the assumption he will need a rest at some point. Even though this season that wasn’t the case it is best to be prepared for these scenarios. Also there are better centre backs around than Cahill even though he is a good defender. Kurt Zouma is young and will develop into a top centre half if he can build on the promise he showed this season. Chelsea have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid centre back Miranda, that is a signing that would be worth their while. The Brazilian defender would add quality to their back four. Not only would he add quality but he is capable of making one of those centre back positions his own. A Champions League finalist and La Liga winner his pedigree is top drawer. He also fits that Mourinho mould of a tough no nonsense defender. Since Chelsea only need to add a couple of players and won’t be breaking the bank this summer given the balance of their side, money spent on Miranda would be a worthwhile investment for the blues. It pushes a player like Cahill to be on top of his game to keep his position and allows for a top quality player to take Terry’s place so you don’t become too reliant on him. At some point Chelsea need to start looking to life after Terry and to have a player like Miranda already in and comfortable when that time comes could be invaluable.
From Matic to Hazard Chelsea’s midfield is formidable. Matic looks to have shown himself to be a missing link Chelsea have been looking for years. Eden Hazard is the league’s best player. Cesc Fabregas struggles not to manage an assist in a game. Oscar has that mix of creative talent and tireless work rate that Mourinho covets so much. Willian is the addition of a couple more goals to his game away from being as deadly a winger as there is in the league. Cuadrado is yet to really show us the qualities that made him such a commodity at Fiorentina. You would be forgiven for believing Chelsea don’t need midfield additions. On the face of it they don’t. What they need to do though is add a bit more depth to that midfield. Fabregas is infamous for tailing off in the second half of the season and a midfielder that could step into his role when he is tiring would be a welcome addition to the Stamford Bridge set up. Kurt Zouma showed his qualities when he stepped into that holding midfield role of Matic. There are areas that Chelsea would prioritize for new signings over their midfield positions. Knowing that Mourinho will want to be competitive in Europe next years as well as domestically tells me they will need more numbers in their midfield. Mourinho would no doubt expect he will need substitute choices a bit more intimidating than John Obi Mikel is he does want to extend their stay in the Champions League while topping the pile in the Premier League.
Diego Costa made quick work of settling into the Premier League. He bedded into the striker role with Chelsea with the utmost ease and goals followed. However, what also followed him throughout the season with niggling injuries. When the Champions League games were coming fast he wasn’t always available for 2 games in the one week. What heightened the issue for Chelsea was that back up striker Loic Remy wasn’t a picture of fitness this season and Didier Drogba is at the end of days playing at the highest level. This is why the rumours of Falcao to Chelsea on a cut price deal are near perfect for Chelsea. Despite the Colombians struggles at Old Trafford this season past there is a world class striker there. If you can get the financial aspects of the deals right it would be a superb addition to Chelsea’s frontline. With the creative talent and style of play Chelsea deploy it may even suit Falcao and could see the return of what was once arguably footballs most feared marksman. Should Costa’s persistent injury issues continue you would have a choice between Remy and Falcao who takes his spot. That is the type of depth that can be the difference between a good season and triumph on multiple fronts. Of course, with the quality they have you don’t want to be breaking the bank for a position you already have a confirmed starter and back up. Should Chelsea decide that it is financially prudent to add Falcao to their ranks it would be a risk. It was a risk United took this year, but it is one of those risks that could have the highest of payoffs.
Mourinho is implementing a plan he created the minute he stepped back through the doors at Stamford Bridge. He took his season to assess the team and his options. Wasn’t slow shifting on the players he didn’t have a place for no matter their ability, he earned a lot of money in transfer fees in that process. He moved to sign the players he wanted early. Matic was acquired mid-way through his first season. All his business last summer was down before the world cup to avoid any headaches. He has recovered the Premier League title and now he will move on to making his side one of the most feared in Europe. Mourinho will know that requires further additions and will already have those players shortlisted and ready to make his move for them once the transfer window is open. Title winners shouldn’t be fooled and believe they are able to continue forward with little change. Manchester City were a prime example of that this season. Chelsea won’t suffer the same fate, Mourinho and Abramovic will know what needs done. You can rest assured they will do it as well.