- Chelsea made three key signings in January transfer window
- Blues brought in Giroud, Barkley and Emerson Palmieri
- Neville though, not impressed by long-term planning at Stamford Bridge
- READ MORE: Chelsea star receives tip-off that Real Madrid attacker will seal summer transfer to Stamford Bridge
Chelsea’s transfer strategy hasn’t left Gary Neville impressed, and to be fair, he makes a valid point as it could all lead to problems in the future.
The Blues signed Ross Barkley, Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud in the January transfer window, which on the face of it are three solid additions to the squad.
Further, they addressed key areas of concern for Antonio Conte with a lack of depth on the left flank, in midfield and up front, but Neville has raised his concerns over the long-term picture at Stamford Bridge as all the signings have been made to fit into the Italian’s specific system and tactical set up.
“I look at these signings, and I look at that transfer window, and I think that could take a couple of years to undo. It’s so geared to a system, the five at the back,” Neville told Sky Sports, as reported by The Express.
“If something happens to Conte… it’s unlikely that he’ll be there [beyond the end of the season]. A new manager has got to pick up that squad with that system.”
Neville may have got this spot on. Conte has played with a back three for a large part of his coaching career, and it’s been no different at Chelsea.
With so many players brought in to fit into specific roles and positions without a great deal of flexibility, if the Italian tactician doesn’t make it beyond this season, then his successor will have to work with what he’s got and make small alterations to allow players to play in their natural roles.
Or, in conjunction with the club, it may take a lot of work in the transfer market to change the squad in order to bring in more flexibility and versatility.
Chelsea sit in fourth place in the Premier League table after 25 games, just two points above Tottenham in the battle for a top four finish while they’re 18 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
Conte will surely have to enjoy a strong end to the season to still be in charge beyond this summer but the problems could rumble on after he’s gone…