Chelsea must now build around Palmer

Chelsea is one of the biggest teams in the Premier

Talk Football
Chelsea must now build around Palmer

Chelsea is one of the biggest teams in the Premier League this century but their recent performances have made them a laughingstock to many. However, following a campaign they can be happy about how they finished strongly, it is time to build on that.

Cole Palmer, who arrived from Manchester City last summer, looks like the next big thing for them, and the club will need to build the club around him if they are to sustain the progress and the achievements they have made so far.

Chelsea’s spending troubles

Chelsea has been hovering around several uncertainties in the last couple of seasons. The forced sale of the club by former owner Roman Abramovich affected the affairs of the club and that has seen the emergence of a consortium led by Todd Boehly who bought the club for £4.25bn in 2022.

Since the arrival of the new owners, the Blues have not enjoyed a lot of joy on and off the pitch. In terms of performance on the pitch, Chelsea missed out on Europe last season and have been without a title since 2021.

Since acquiring Chelsea in May 2022, Boehly and his team have embarked on a significant spending spree, attempting to take the club back to the heights it was before. The arrival of the numerous talents to Stamford Bridge has failed to yield the desired effects.

In just four transfer windows during his time in charge of the club, the American has spent over £1 billion on new players - a truly staggering figure. While most of the 34 players are ones to keep an eye on in the future, there are still a handful of stars who'd already gained experience elsewhere.

Managerial dilemma at Stamford Bridge

In terms of management, Chelsea will now have a sixth coach in two years under Boehly and Clearlake, with Bruno Saltor and Frank Lampard having held short-lived interim roles in that cohort.

Graham Potter and Pochettino have both been installed as highly-backed and trumpeted appointments on the new owners’ watch.

Potter, who had a successful time at Brighton, was given a five-year contract and Chelsea vowed that the club would grow alongside their young, upwardly mobile new boss. The astute tactician lasted just 206 days and 31 matches before the pressure trumped his inexperience and Chelsea’s patience ran out.

A statement released by Chelsea just days after the final Premier League day read: "Chelsea FC can confirm that the club and Mauricio Pochettino have mutually agreed to part ways."

Pochettino said: "Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and Sporting Directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club's history. The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come."

Assistant coaches Jesus Perez, Miguel d'Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino also depart.

Pochettino, who became the club’s manager last summer, was hailed as a world-class manager of outstanding abilities. The former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss completed a troubled, injury-hit season, but was still gone in 325 days after securing a place in Europe for the next season.

A new star is born - Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer came from Manchester City to become Chelsea’s leading man in the 2023/24 season. The Englishman, who came as a young man in search of playing time, made a lasting impact.

City boss Pep Guardiola tried to convince Palmer to remain at the Etihad but his heart was set on a move to Chelsea for more regular playing time.

‘He was asking for two seasons to leave and I said, ‘No! Stay! Stay!’ – but he said, ‘No – I want to leave’ – what could we do?’ Guardiola said last month.

‘I said in pre-season, stay. He said he wanted to leave. What could we do? I said stay because Riyad [Mahrez] is gone but for two seasons he wanted to leave.

‘Playing that level [he is now] is exceptional. He’s an exceptional player. I didn’t give the minutes that maybe he deserved and now he has at Chelsea.

‘I understand completely. He’s a shy guy with a lot of potential. It is what it is. He’s playing fantastic so what can I say, the decision has been made for many reasons.’

Guardiola was spot on about Palmer’s potential and everyone including Chelsea fans has seen it for themselves. Palmer's remarkable rise at Stamford Bridge was one of the few highlights of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign.

Palmer's progress exceeded all expectations as he ended the campaign with 22 goals and 11 assists from 34 Premier League games, second only to Erling Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot. The 22-year-old went on to be named the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season.

The feat saw Palmer break Eden Hazard’s Chelsea record for the most goals and assists in a single Premier League season.

What Chelsea must do around Palmer

Pochettino spoke extensively about wanting more influence on operations than Chelsea was willing to allow and also wanted more of a say on transfer plans. Despite the challenges and injuries, the 52-year-old did manage to secure European football by losing just once in the last 15 league matches. That run of form saw an increase in the demand for Chelsea tickets.

Chelsea, since the arrival of Boehly, have signed numerous young talents with a lot of them still finding their feet. With Pochettino gone simply because of his desire to have more control, Chelsea must now get the next manager right and be patient.

Recently, the club has determined that its recently installed off-field management structure will become a genuine club strength, with key decisions made by the co-owners in tandem with two sporting directors, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

With the exit of Thiago Silva, Chelsea needs a new experienced centre back and that should be a priority in the summer including a striker. Nicolas Jackson did his best and improved on his finishing towards the end of the season, but that will not be enough to lead the Blues to greatness.

Chelsea have been reckless in the transfer market since this new management came on board. With that in mind, it is important to carry the new manager along to get the right signings in the summer ahead of another tough season.