Transfer Window Review: Chelsea

The Stamford Bridge side's excellent work over the summer has been reflected by three wins out of three so far this season, with an impressive 11 goals scored
By Jamie Dunn

As ever, Chelsea were among the big spenders during the transfer window, catching the eye with the marquee signing of Diego Costa and bringing Cesc Fabregas back to the Premier League - Goal assesses what has been an excellent summer for Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea finished third in the Premier League last season, just four points behind champions Manchester City and two behind runners-up Liverpool. But Mourinho's side scored just 71 goals compared to City's 102 and the Reds' 101, and despite conceding a miserly 27, finished with a significantly weaker goal difference than both sides.

Mourinho sought to address that issue this summer, setting a move to sign Diego Costa in place before the last campaign had even finished. The Brazilian-born Spain international fired Atletico Madrid to the top of La Liga and into the Champions League final before moving to Stamford Bridge for £32 million.

The effects have been immediate. After just three games, Costa has already scored four goals, netting twice in a 6-3 win over Everton despite apparently carrying a muscle injury.

But the signing of Cesc Fabregas could be regarded as equally vital to Chelsea's goal threat. The former Barcelona man cut his teeth in the Premier League and is already operating the Blues midfield with authority, providing assists for four of their 11 goals so far this season.

Costa or Fabregas; take your pick. It could be argued that each is as important as the other.

It might seem odd to label the return of Didier Drogba, the Chelsea legend who has brought so much success to the club previously, as a wildcard signing. Mourinho still believes the striker to be one of the best in Europe.

But at the age of 36 and after spells at Galatasaray and in China with Shanghai Shenhua, will Chelsea really see the best from the King of Stamford Bridge?

Already, Drogba sustained an injury days before the season started and faced something of a race to be fit for the opener against Burnley. He has since made three appearances from the bench, totalling less than 20 minutes.

Since Drogba's arrival, Loic Remy has been brought in and Fernando Torres shipped out. The fear is the Blues' living legend will be reduced to little more than a bit-part role in his second spell.

Prior to the signing of Remy, Chelsea looked light in the central striker department. Should Costa suffer an injury, they would have to rely on Drogba, with Fernando Torres looking increasingly likely to sit out his contract on the bench.

But Torres was moved on and France international Remy arrived in his place. As a result, it is difficult to suggest they needed to fill a void in any key areas they did not address exceptionally well this summer.

The return from a loan spell of Thibaut Courtois has seen Petr Cech drop to the bench, but Mourinho now has two world-class goalkeepers - and a very strong third choice in Mark Schwarzer - to choose from.

The defence has been bolstered by the arrival of Filipe Luis. In midfield, Nemanja Matic was signed in January along with Mohamed Salah, who added competition to the already supremely talented likes of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle and Willian.

Ultimately, Chelsea's squad is built very much in Mourinho's image and looks a difficult one to fault.

While Torres will likely be remembered as an expensive flop and a section of fans may miss cult hero David Luiz, it is two more experienced campaigners Chelsea will miss most.

Frank Lampard became the Blues' all-time leading goal scorer in 2013 and though his influence waned last season, he is undoubtedly a legendary figure at the club. They will hope his move to New York City FC and subsequently loan to Manchester City does not come back to haunt them.

Similarly, Ashley Cole was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer and, though he was displaced last season by Cesar Azpilicueta and Filipe Luis has been brought in, the defender was a model of consistency at left-back for the club.

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