Chelsea escape deadline day disaster but anger grows towards transfer chief Emenalo

Antonio Conte, Chelsea


Antonio Conte isn't in charge of signing players for Chelsea and thus the pressure has been piled upon directors Marina Granovskaia and Michael Emenalo after a series of rejections around transfer deadline day. 

The outrage is generally amplified on social media, but fans were unhappy with the transfer chiefs despite the six signings that the club brought in over the past few months.

Chelsea's initial signings of Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero were deemed as not enough. Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater arrived in the very final hours of the window to save the day. 

However, even with the estimated £180 million outlay, Chelsea are ever so slightly short on playing staff. They lack cover in the striker, wing-back and centre-back positions, while they have sold around £170m of fringe, loan and youth players in the past six months.  

The net spend at the club isn't as big as it looks and complaints over sales of youngsters is an inevitability. Nathaniel Chalobah, Bertrand Traore and Nathan Ake have buy-back clauses but grievances will remain about the club's youth policy and their lack of chances in the first team. 

Danny Drinkwater Leicester

Chelsea have avoided a crisis over a lack of first team options but it has been painful to watch. A series of rejections in the past 48 hours has left Chelsea the victim of many jokes but it also raises questions of how the club allowed themselves to be manipulated and played. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn't want to play at wing-back and chose to go to Liverpool despite Chelsea agreeing a £35 million fee with Arsenal for him. After that, Fernando Llorente chose Tottenham over Chelsea despite months of the Blues tracking the former Swansea frontman. 

Ross Barkley ended up wasting Chelsea's time as they negotiated a deal for an injured player, only for it to fall through. Rewind to July and Romelu Lukaku chose Old Trafford ahead of a return to Stamford Bridge.  

Interest in Juventus' Alex Sandro was quickly blocked as Leonardo Bonucci was sold to AC Milan and the Serie A champions had to avoid outrage of their own over player sales. 

Manchester City outbid Chelsea for Real Madrid's Danilo, which highlights how the club is becoming more keen on profitability. They are no longer willing or able to blow rivals away as they did in the early Roman Abramovich years. 

Davide Zappacosta Torino

After losing out on several wing-backs, Zappacosta is joined by Kenedy. He is back in the fold at Chelsea depsite his controversial comments on Instagram that offended many people in China. Kenedy is talented but his comments are a problem with Chelsea aiming to grow their market share in Asia. 

Chelsea are no longer the big bad wolves of the transfer market. They have downsized, looking to emulate a Premier League version of the Borussia Dortmund model, where sell-on value becomes important. 

The chaos of the final days of the transfer market came around and Chelsea looked to find a bargain, but it represents a culture shift for new fans who may find it irritating to miss out on the world's biggest stars. 

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Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool have pushed themselves to move forwards in the transfer market. Chelsea, meanwhile, have stood still, but they have made a healthy profit from their share of the Premier League's £5.14 billion commercial deals - not to mention their £60m-a-year Nike contract. They are now a profitable venture.  

Conte has called for patience and already warned that this season could be difficult. He has moved to rein in expectations as he recognises that his squad may lack both depth and quality to fight to win the Champions League this year. 

However, Conte can make a success of it. He has already won a Premier League title against all odds, so he may just have to win a second one in the same way.