Given Manchester United’s aggressive accumulation of quality players it would hardly be unreasonable for Chelsea supporters to be perturbed by their own side’s relative transfer market inaction this summer.
The Blues have brought in four players, with none a shoo-in for regular starts in 2015/16.
According to Jose Mourinho, the Blues need just one more player to maintain the title-winning equilibrium they achieved last term, with the manager telling Sky Sports HQ the following:
“I am looking for a defender to finish this balance in our squad and after that we are ready to answer anything that can happen to our players.”
By contrast United have brought in a quartet of quality internationals in Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Is Mourinho playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship by allowing Chelsea to stand still while their closest rivals improve their squads?
No…and not least because of the key word in the Happy One’s quote above, ‘balance’.
Chelsea’s small, select roster provided a winningly harmonious blend of youth and experience, first-teamers and able but self-aware understudies and tactically adaptable jacks-of-all-trades last term and will do so once again in 2015/15.
Having gone some way to altering the look of his starting XI this summer, Louis van Gaal will once more be striving for a similar equilibrium in the new campaign.
Weaving a star-dense squad into a team is no mean feat, even for a manager of the Iron Tulip’s calibre and will hamstring the Red Devils, 5/1 for the title, as they attempt to overhaul a gap that stood at 17 points at the conclusion of last season.
Of course both Manchester City (11/4) and Arsenal (17/4) are shorter in the betting than the Old Trafford side, yet neither have made similar declarations of transfer window intent yet.
The Citizens seem set for another summer bereft of the kind of statement signings their local rivals have made in Depay and ‘Schweini’ as they concentrate on home-grown acquisitions.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have bought only a new goalkeeper, despite conceding just four goals more than Chelsea last term.