Transfer deadline day is (almost) upon us! So, it feels suitable to put down a bunch of very specific predictions for the maddest day of the year which could all become obsolete in mere hours, minutes, seconds.
From a Chelsea perspective, the long summer window has been defined by the record-breaking transfer to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the club he left in 2014. But similarly, by the departures of several young promising stars from Cobham who had hopes to break into the first team squad.
Let’s try and predict a day that is certainly going to be busy forMarina Granovskaia
At the time of writing, only two names appear realistic. Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
Kounde has been a name that has known to supporters for months after it was revealed in July that the Blues had agreed on personal terms with Kounde and appeared to be in strong talks to get a deal over the line.
The swift pursuit and signing of Romelu Lukaku took attention away from Kounde for a few weeks but his name has been dominating Chelsea transfer chat again.
On Monday morning there was a twist as Sevilla hiked up the initial fee that was ‘verbally agreed’ between both clubs. Unless a quick resolution is found, the move will not go ahead.
However, with the Blues persistence to acquire the French centre-half I do not think Chelsea will give up that easily – especially with ‘Iron Lady’ Marina at the negotiating table. Kounde was left out of Sevilla’s squad at the weekend which is always a strong signal a move is imminent, and Chelsea have successfully been able to secure their first-choice targets over the past year.
Of more importance to Kounde, Chelsea need a central midfielder. They have needed one before N’Golo Kante went down injured with an ankle issue at Liverpool. They needed one before Billy Gilmour went on loan to Norwich. It has been a pressing area for some time and to go into a long season with only three senior central midfielders would be silly.
Saul Niguez is a perfectly fine addition on loan, even if it may be like a short-term move for a season. You are getting a highly experienced player ready to make an impact. I would have preferred to see the club commit more to Aurélien Tchouaméni from Monaco in a permanent deal. It would have been a shrewd move for one of Europe’s best developing midfielders.
Atletico apparently want an obligation to buy clause in the loan which wisely the Blues are not keen on. Tchouameni is an investment to Chelsea’s future in a vital area and personally excites me more than Saul. But the time left leans me to think a loan move is the best we are going to get.
There are so many players to get through who have yet to find a resolution. I would expect outgoings to dominate Chelsea’s business on deadline day, which may not be the dopamine hit some want but is the reality of the window.
Callum Hudson-Odoi needs a loan move now. I was unsure earlier this summer, but given he’s had zero Premier League minutes so far, some blunt Thomas Tuchel comments and the opportunity to play for either Borussia Dortmund or a Premier League club like Leicester City, Callum really needs this for his own career.
Either sounds brilliant for him – Dortmund is the best place for Europe’s brightest young talent to develop, whilst Leicester are so smartly run it could be an easier fit for Hudson-Odoi to stay in England.
With both Kounde and a midfielder in, there is really no excuse Chelsea would be light at wing-back either where Tuchel has played Hudson-Odoi before.
Tino Anjroin to fan disappointment will complete a permanent move to Lokomotiv Moscow with a buyback inserted. Another talented youngster looking elsewhere for minutes, which is best for his own career.
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One of my personal favourites Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be loaned out to Lazio to reunite with Maurizio Sarri, the manager he flourished under the most at Chelsea. This is a wild one but given reports earlier in the window linking Loftus-Cheek to Italy, things may ramp up if Chelsea sign a new midfielder.
Ethan Ampadu will get a loan somewhere – we can only hope better than his previous two at RB Leipzig and Sheffield United.
Danny Drinkwater, who was bought by Chelsea on deadline day four years ago will stay until January where an unexpected Turkish club will likely come in for him.
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