Why Chelsea’s grandiose January spending will only pile more pressure on Graham Potter

Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Chelsea are the biggest winners of the January transfer window after going all out and splashing the cash to bring in their priority targets.

The Blues have now signed 18 players since Todd Boehly and his consortium took over the club’s ownership, with a whopping £610 million spent on transfers.

The idea is to revamp a squad that has gone stale with young, exciting players. So far, the club have shown great ambition with the profile of their signings, their ages, and the long-term contracts being handed to them.

Many big-name signings have walked through the doors of Stamford Bridge this January. However, manager Graham Potter now has the task of fashioning them into a winning machine.

The former Brighton & Hove Albion boss hasn’t necessarily enjoyed a dream start to life at Chelsea. He has guided the Blues to just two wins in their last 11 matches. The club’s grandiose spending, however, means such results will no longer be tolerated.

Let's play football! ⚽️#CheFul

Fans expect instant results

Potter has so far been given a grace period despite Chelsea’s poor form because the general consensus was that the squad was simply not good enough.

They have now spent a fortune bringing in Mykhaylo Mudryk, Joao Felix (loan), Malo Gusto, Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, and David Datro Fofana. They also broke the British transfer record fee to bring in Enzo Fernandez for €121 million. Hence, fans will be expecting instant results.

The thing about modern football is that it is cutthroat and the only currency that keeps a manager in his job is to keep winning. Not only have the Blues failed to win in recent months, but their performances have equally been disappointing.

They are 10th in the Premier League table and out of both domestic cup competitions.

That will have to change henceforth. When a club spends the kind of money Chelsea have spent in one transfer window, the least fans can expect is to see a turnaround.

It’s a good thing when a manager is fully backed in the transfer market. However, the downside is that performances will have to match the spending and Potter will not be spared if that does not happen.

Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Potter has big decisions to make on starting line-up at Chelsea

Potter did a marvelous job at Brighton, but Chelsea are a different step in his career and he still has a lot to prove in order to belong in the big leagues.

While there is less pressure at clubs like Brighton, the situation is entirely different at elite clubs. The manager is expected to manage the egos of star players and also make some difficult decisions at such clubs.

Potter’s firmness will be tested now that he has a large pool of players at his disposal, especially when it comes to selecting his teams for matches.

Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Erik ten Hag handled that perfectly by dropping out-of-form players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire when he arrived at Manchester United. As to whether Potter can make a similar statement is yet to be known, but his words suggest he may have it in him, as he told Sky Sports:

"You have to look at right combination, the balance of the group, and take the tough decisions. A lot of players can put up a strong case. That's our challenge and I am not complaining about it - it's part of the job and I am really looking forward to taking it and doing the best I can. I think there have been enormous challenges since day one."

He added:

“The club has gone through tremendous change with the ownership, there needs to be stability and calm which is hard for me to say when we have made the signings we have made. But going forward we have to build the team the culture and the environment and then you can start to see real progress I think."

Indeed, the fans would like to see immediate progress in the team. Potter is already under pressure to turn Chelsea’s poor season around and the club’s massive spending has only compounded it.

If for nothing, the stakes are now higher and he has little room for failure or underperformance.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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