Graeme Souness has criticised Chelsea’s approach in the transfer market and questioned three of the club’s big-money signings.
New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly spent more than £250m in his first transfer window since buying the club from Roman Abramovich – the highest amount any Premier League club has spent in a single window.
French defender Wesley Fofana, Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, England forward Raheem Sterling, Spanish full-back Marc Cucurella, and Senegal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly all secured moves to Stamford Bridge this summer.
But Souness does not think Chelsea have spent wisely and has questioned their deals for Aubameyang, Fofana and Cucurella.
‘In his hurry and enthusiasm to get Chelsea supporters onside, Todd Boehly has just spent the thick end of £300million in the summer transfer market, appearing to do all the business himself,’ Souness told the Daily Mail.
‘Unless you have a bottomless pit, the money they have spent on Marc Cucurella makes no sense, considering Chelsea already had Marcos Alonso, Ben Chilwell and, at a push, Reece James in the same position.
‘Is Cucurella that much of an upgrade on them? I don’t think so. Chelsea only seem to have taken him because Manchester City wanted him.
‘I get that they needed centre backs because of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen going and having 37-year-old Thiago Silva, an age when your game can fall off a cliff inside a month.
‘But £70million for Wesley Fofana? At 21, he only brings potential.
‘The upside to signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on deadline day is that Chelsea now have a striker who has scored goals in the Premier League, something notoriously hard to find.
‘The downside is that he’s 33 and has a dodgy gene somewhere. Mikel Arteta did very well for Arsenal, and for his own longevity as manager, by getting Aubameyang out of the building and seems to have found an upgrade in Gabriel Jesus.
‘If you want to indulge Aubameyang, then you risk heading down the same road as Arsenal did with that fool Mesut Ozil, who got in his armchair the minute Arsene Wenger put him on a ridiculously inflated salary.’
Tuchel was asked about Chelsea’s record-breaking spending spree at his pre-West Ham press conference on Friday.
‘We can discuss endlessly if we overspent or if it’s too much money for the players but the players that we got are very, very good players and very good personalities,’ the German boss said.
‘Everything was needed to rebuild the group and inspire the group and I think we did excellent, excellent signings.
‘It does not help if we talk about the prices too much because we’ll always find people and it’s maybe hard to argue when they say it’s way too much money – okay.
‘This is how the market was for us. Maybe we were not in the perfect position to find always the right timing and the right price.
‘But this was nobody’s fault, this was because of the situation, but the players we got fit perfectly and I’m very happy to work with this group now.’
Chelsea have only won two of their first five games of the season and travel across London to face West Ham on Saturday.
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