Chelsea demonstrate transfer problem affecting all Premier League clubs in draw to Spurs
Chelsea draw to Tottenham
In the second game of the preseason Mind series tournament, Chelsea and Tottenham faced off at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, who named a strong side, raced into an early lead through a second minute strike from Hakim Ziyech, and dominated the first half despite not adding to the score.
Early in the second half, Ziyech doubled the Chelsea lead, before goals from Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwjin ensured that the tie ended in a draw.
It ends all square in #CHETOT at Stamford Bridge. ⏱ pic.twitter.com/inGBXrK1Gx
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 4, 2021
Tottenham host Arsenal in the final game of the mini-tournament on Sunday.
The transfer problem
After the game, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was quizzed on the absence of Ross Barkley and replied by pointing out that “we have 42 players in the building”, meaning that Barkley was simply a victim of non-selection.
Asked Tuchel about Ross Barkley’s absence this evening: “It was non-selection. We have 42 players in the building.” Adds that he wanted to give Bakayoko some minutes and Loftus-Cheek another chance to play. #CFC
— Sam Inkersole (@Sam_InkersoleTM) August 4, 2021
Premier League regulations state that a maximum of 25 players can be registered for the season, provided that the homegrown quota is met, although players under 21 do not have to be registered.
This means that Chelsea are 17 players above the regulations, even before the suggested incomings of Romelu Lukaku and Jules Kounde. With the likes of Ross Barkley, Davide Zappacosta and Timeoue Bakayoko all still at the club, Chelsea are a clear example of the issues English clubs are facing this summer.
They are by no means alone either. Arsenal have struggled to shift the likes of Hector Bellerin, Eddie Nketiah, and Alexandre Lacazette, while Serge Aurier and Harry Winks remains on the books of Tottenham.
It is not that the clubs do not want to sell, but selling abroad has become increasingly more difficult. Sides in Ligue 1 are struggling financially, crippled by the double blow of a failed TV deal and the coronavirus pandemic.
Across to Spain, and both Barcelona and Real Madrid are also in significant financial arrears, while smaller clubs have been stripped of gate revenue for the best part of 14 months, and are unwilling to commit to big spending.
In Italy, the story is much the same, with Inter’s financial woes well documented and leading them to need to sell both Achraf Hakimi and one of Romelu Lukaku or Lautaro Martinez. Germany has not gone untouched either, with only three clubs recording losses of more than 10 million pounds in the transfer market to date this summer, down from eight clubs two years ago.
Premier League clubs, as always, have much of the power when it comes to buying. This is thanks to the lucrative TV deals and sponsorship deals that, for the most part, dwarf other European leagues.
The consequence of this is their ability to offer inflated transfer fees for players, which has seen the likes of Jadon Sancho already move across this summer.
However, the same clubs are struggling to offload their fringe players. Where there would often be a lucrative market in Europe (see, for instance, the career of Alvaro Morata), there are suddenly very few buyers for players, and even fewer at the prices that clubs are looking to demand.
For this reason, the likes of Bakayoko, Bellerin and Aurier are all still at their respective clubs, and are causing a significant logjam in the transfer market, with Premier League clubs unable to conduct significant business.
With time ticking down to the end of the window, there may be some significant compromise needed by the English sides in order to shift their deadwood, and proceed with their transfer plans.
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