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Chelsea Transfer News, 11th May 2010

carlo ancelotti wins the premier league
Ancelotti looking to the future with Chelsea’s youth academy

Chelsea may have won the title in a record breaking fashion but one thing that doesn’t go away from the media spotlight is the squad’s age. With a lot of key players over 30, it is widely acknowledged that Chelsea will definitely dip into the transfer market and make some marquee signings along with some younger players. The situation is made even more complex with the fact that Ballack and Joe Cole’s contract end the coming June. The futures of players like Deco and Anelka who have one year left on the contract are unsure.
That is nearly four first team players whose futures need to be sorted.

But Chelsea’s chief executive, Ron Gourlay suggests that the club will not enter in a bidding war with other teams.

“No – we wouldn’t get involved a bidding war. If there’s any player that has become available and we feel they can strengthen our team then it will be on the terms of Chelsea Football Club. But I keep hearing about our ageing squad – we have 28 players in our first team squad and our age average is 27 – so I hope people are not telling us we’re too old at 27. I think we’re in a good position.”

This stance by Gourlay seems to be a result of Roman Abramovich’s desire to make the club self-sufficient and bring young players from the academy. But six defeats this season and a Champions League exit from the knockout stage tell a different story.

The Champions League is always the gauge with which you can measure the squad. And with European teams like Inter Milan and Bayern Munich stronger like they ever been it is time for Chelsea to add some quality players to sustain the challenges on European and domestic fronts.

Carlo Ancelotti has also said that he is not the type of person who makes wholesome changes to the squad. As I said a few days ago that Torres won’t likely be coming to Chelsea after Daily Mail claimed that he was to, Ancelotti has said,

“I think this team doesn’t need to change a lot of things. Every player did a fantastic job this season. Torres is a fantastic player but it’s better to grow players with this ability in the academy. We have a very good squad for next season.”

Here is what I think the team needs next season,

  1. A Striker of world class quality mainly because Drogba will be 33 next year and you wonder how long he can lead Chelsea’s attack.
  2. Two midfielders, one defensive and another attacking to replace the likes of Ballack and Deco.
  3. A defensive cover for around given players like Belletti and Carvalho will be moving on.