Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has predicted that Chelsea could be vulnerable in the top four race next season.
The Blues haven’t got off to the strongest start in this summer’s transfer window, while both Arsenal and Tottenham have strengthened well.
Spurs narrowly pipped Arsenal to fourth place last season, but Chelsea didn’t have the most convincing campaign, even though they finished third and reached both domestic cup finals, getting a little unlucky to lose on penalties to Liverpool both times.
Now, however, Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have all left, while no one’s come in yet, so Chadwick thinks they need to ensure they spend some money soon or else risk falling out of the top four.
“I think Chelsea are looking a little light at the moment,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “I’d be hugely surprised if they didn’t strengthen before the end of the window. Obviously you don’t know how it’s going to work with the new owners, but you’d imagine they’ve got money to spend and there’s a plan there to make a strong first impression.
“They didn’t end last season in fantastic form, so they’ve got to change things a bit – get some new players in and have a really good pre-season. Tuchel’s first half-season ended with winning the Champions League, but last season ended up being a bit of a disappointment. I think a few of us had them as title favourites with the signing of Romelu Lukaku, but they under-achieved.
“Of the current top four you’d maybe look at them as a bit vulnerable next season if they don’t strengthen. Arsenal and Spurs have recruited well, and if those players hit the ground running they’ll be serious challengers. Chelsea are playing catch-up a bit, but you’d imagine a club of that size will have some irons in the fire and that there’ll be movement before the end of the window.”
Chadwick admitted he’s particularly impressed by Tottenham’s signings, with Richarlison and Yves Bissouma among the big-name arrivals. Still, he’s not sure they’re quite at the level of being title challengers yet.
“Tottenham have strengthened really well,” he said. “They’ve moved quickly for some top players, and you look at their squad now, and it’s as good as any in the Premier League.
“It was important for Daniel Levy and the board backing Antonio Conte. He got them that Champions League spot and they’ve responded with the right signings.
“I think it’s a tough ask for them to close that gap on Manchester City and Liverpool, but let’s see how they do in the rest of this transfer window.”