The new Blues!
Guest fan blog Thu 1 Feb 2018
With the January transfer window now closed, I thought it would be a good chance to look over the additions the Blues made last month.
While Michy Batshuayi and Kenedy departed on loan, Antonio Conte boosted his squad with the late arrivals of Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud, along with the earlier addition of Ross Barkley, all on permanent deals.
Overall, I’m pleased with the business done this month and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the new recruits in action in a Chelsea shirt!
Here’s my take on the three new boys…
The first addition to our squad was that of England international, Ross Barkley, who joined from Everton on a five-and-a-half-year deal. The attacking midfielder, who was handed the number eight shirt for the Blues, was described by Antonio Conte as a ‘complete player with great potential’. Despite Barkley having only recently returned to training due to a hamstring injury sustained last year, the Blues boss was impressed with the Englishman’s fitness following his Chelsea debut against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup. After putting pen to paper, Conte was again full of praise for the 24-year-old: ‘He has stamina, he is strong physically and he has good technique. He is fast. He is a modern footballer.’ In the past, Barkley has had his style of play compared to that of Chelsea legend, Michael Ballack –high praise indeed!
Defender Emerson Palmieri was the Blues’ second signing of the January transfer window, joining from Serie A side, Roma, on a four-and-a-half-year deal. The Brazilian-born 23-year-old is a left-sided player who plays predominantly as a left-back, but can also move into a wing-back or left midfielder position should he need to. Last year Emerson was granted Italian citizenship and was recently called up to the Italian national side. He has been described as skilful and versatile, with an amazing ability to read a game. Emerson will wear the number 33 shirt for the Blues, and is reunited with Antonio Rudiger, with whom he played alongside at Roma.
Last, but by no means least, striker Olivier Giroud made the switch from north to west London on the last day of the January transfer window. The 31-year-old forward has years of proven experience in the Premier League, as well as in Europe and for the French national team. He is a strong, powerful striker, who is known for his bullet headers and, of course, that incredible scorpion kick! Along with Morata, who is also partial to scoring with his head, it will be interesting to see who scores the most headed goals for Chelsea come the end of the season. Giroud will wear the number 18 shirt for the Blues and is eligible to play in all three competitions. In December last year, Giroud scored his 17th goal as a substitute in the Premier League, equalling Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's record tally. Giroud joins French compatriots N’Golo Kante and Tiémoué Bakayoko here at Stamford Bridge.