Opinion: The transfer ban on Chelsea will have heavy ramifications on their European ambitions
The latest news which filters in at the moment has declared that Chelsea Football Club have lost their appeal against the FIFA with the world's governing football body upholding its earlier-inflicted transfer ban partially, confirming that the Premier League club will not be able to sign senior players for the next two transfer windows.
A general statement said Chelsea will be permitted to register minor players under the age of 16 during the period of the transfer ban, but the club could still opt to appeal against the decision. However, the Blues, who are very likely to make it to the top European competition- the Champions League next season with an impressive late surge in the Premier League by surpassing rivals Arsenal and Manchester United, will be severely dented.
Although the rule says nothing in relation to selling players (which must have been a Godsend for Eden Hazard, as he can finally leave for the Santiago Bernabeu), the Blues from London will be reeling after being rendered unable to sign any new senior players. Some of the areas which have looked fragile in Chelsea's lineup this year, such as the defence and attacking third, surely needed to be reinforced by fresh blood.
This means that manager Maurizio Sarri will have to persist with on-loan striker Gonzalo Higuain, whose deal has an additional option to purchase him from Juventus and disgruntled forward Olivier Giroud although the latter has, of late, made waves by saying in public that he is not satisfied with the chances he has got at Stamford Bridge this season. Losing Eden Hazard will be disastrous for Sarri, who, in turn, will have to make do with youngsters Ruben Loftus Cheek and Callum Hudson Odoi.
The left-back position in Chelsea's defence also looked shaky this season after regular starter Marcos Alonso started giving out indifferent performances and back-up man Emerson did nothing to make the spot his own. Later on during the season, Spaniard Alonso returned with some fabulous showings but the void was clearly felt. Centre-back Andreas Christensen, falling under the cave of a lack of game-time, has also expressed his desire to leave.
Thus, Chelsea's defence, along with the other areas which needed strengthening, will go into next season looking disorganised.