The transfer window is closed now, and things seem calm. Chelsea’s board have certainly disappointed fans with their failure to sign two massive transfer targets, namely John Stones and Paul Pogba.
While Roberto Martinez had always maintained that Stones wasn’t for sale, Juventus never discouraged Chelsea to make bids, although eventually not selling.
With all the news of Chelsea being linked with Pogba, it created a sort of frenzy among the blue followers in the summer. However, every time Chelsea are linked with a player from Serie A, fans should curtail their excitement. Players from Italy have not exactly been great for the Blues in recent seasons.
Not since the days of Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo, and Carlo Cudicini, have Chelsea seen a Serie A player delivering inspirational performances on a regular basis. In fact, since Cudicini, Chelsea and Serie A signings have been like coke and mentos.
Interestingly, Serie A players have done quite well in other teams in recent times. Former Serie A players like Erik Lamela, Matteo Darmian, and Graziano Pelle are playing at a high level, that too consistently. But Chelsea have not been so lucky in the past few seasons.
Take the case of Ricardo Quaresma. Quaresma signed on loan in 2009 from Inter after he was omitted from their Champions League. The move was supposed to revitalize Quaresma’s career, and provide Chelsea with a midfield boost. But after an assist to Alex against Coventry City in the FA Cup, Quaresma never really found his way into the starting eleven, and his last appearance came in a 1-0 loss to Tottenham.
Earlier even a player of the caliber of Juan Sebastian Veron failed to make an impact at Chelsea, after a disappointing year at Manchester United.
The latest disappointment from Serie A is, of course, our very own Juan Cuadrado, who has been loaned to Juventus in the summer. Having signed him in the January transfer window from Fiorentina, both the fans and Mourinho hoped he would add some much-needed spice on the right side of the Chelsea attack. And that has proved to be a real difficulty.
Cuadrado has not impressed Mourinho enough to make himself a regular starter. Trying to replace Willian has been a futile effort while he has not done anything of real notice other than winning a penalty against Sunderland last season. 13 appearances and no goal or assist.
Now, the question arises of why. Why have talented players from Serie A disappointed at Chelsea of late? Though adjusting to the Premier League is not an easy task, the Spaniards and Brazilians seem to do well. Players like Juan Mata, Diego Costa, Oscar have adjusted to both the style of play and life in London quite well. But the Serie A players have not had the same comforting experience.
Firstly, any player arriving at Chelsea has to deal with the cold and wet weather in London. Italy has a particularly warm weather, which is why the players, may not like the transition. Former Arsenal player Carlos Vela, who moved to Spain, had once confessed that he never really liked London, particularly the food and the weather.
Secondly, the pressure to perform in the Premier League is much more than anywhere else in Europe. With English clubs signing players for a lot of money, it has at times backfired. Back in Italy, unless it is a derby, players rarely get to see a full stadium. Attendances in Serie A are continuously dropping.
“A recent report in Italian daily La Gazzetta Dello Sport said that the average attendance in a serie A match was 22053, which was 7% lower than last year. “
Source – espnfc
Meanwhile, the average attendance at a Chelsea home match is 41,546. So you can clearly see that the level of expectation, as well as the pressure to perform, is much higher than what it is in Italy.
Next, when it comes to the style of play, English football is much faster and more physical than anywhere else in the world. Jose Mourinho, in particular, is the kind of manager who demands a lot of work ethic from his players.
Defensive duty is not what a lot of managers would demand of their wingers in Serie A, since Italians rely on their compact defensive formation and counter-attacks, something we see at Inter or say, Lazio. So, Consequently, a lot of physical burden is increased which leads to fitness issues and fatigue.
A combination of all these factors may have caused some of our recent signings from the Serie A to fail miserably. However, we can only hope that in case, by some miracle we do sign Paul Pogba next summer, he will overcome all these factors and come good for Chelsea. “IF” remains the main word, though.
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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